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7.  Elder Dyer prepared a record covering his experiences with Israel Smith, President of the Reorganized Church.  It was felt that a record should be filed in the Church Archives indicating how Israel Smith depended upon President McKay regarding appointing a successor as President of the Reorganized Church.  He was killed before such a meeting could be arranged.


Monday afternoon, I drove to Salt Lake, did some work at the Historical Department.  Tuesday afternoon I gave the Commissioners Lecture at BYU, “Church History and the Achievement of Identity.”   About 250 persons present, including many administrative leaders of BYU, many friends, and perhaps 1/3 students.  Many persons came up afterward to thank me or to congratulate me.  Pres. Wilkinson came up to tell a story on President Clark. Someone came to see him all hot and bothered, and President Clark told him, “You’ve forgotten Commandment No. 4788.”  What is Commandment No. 4788,” he asks.  President Clark replies:  “Thou shalt not take thyself too seriously.”

[LJAD, LJA Diary, 21 May 1972]

Visited in the office today by Hampton Clawson Godbe, grandson of W. S. Godbe, son of Brigham Hampton Godbe.  He is trying to write a biography of W. S. Godbe and of Hiram Clawson.  He has put many Godbe materials in the University of Utah Library and is using the materials there.  His conclusions about Godbe:

  1.  Godbe’s fourth wife was Charlotte Cobb, daughter of Henry and Augusta Cobb.  Augusta Cobb had left her husband and five children in Boston and had gone to marry Brigham Young in Nauvoo as a plural wife.  Then later married Brigham Young in the temple in Nauvoo when it was sufficiently completed for sealings.  Apparently, she had married while still married to Henry Cobb in Boston.  He sued her, alleging either bigamy or adultery.  She was represented by counsel, and Ham thinks her claim is that it was a celestial sealing, not a marriage in the ordinary usage of that term.  Anyway, Ham thinks there was a hot love affair in NY between Charlotte and W. S. G.  That each fell in love with the other (he already had 3 wives), that his wives couldn’t understand his attitude.  That he was married in Salt Lake Endowment House in March 1869 by Brigham Young himself.  This shows they were friendly as of that date.  Also that BY had no thought of any apostasy, since before this Utah Mag had been published.  Charlotte was beautiful, talented; they got along until 1873 when she left him, became active in the national suffragette movement; married Tony Kirby (or some Kirby) who was 20 years her junior.

        2.  Augusta was not liked by Brigham Young’s other wives; a controversial character.  She was connected with the Quincys and Adams in Boston.  One of the Brahmins.  She was intelligent, educated, social.  She presided at many social functions of Brigham Young.

        3.  The apostasy of Godbe and Harrison was something, which was gradual and long-standing in character.  Harrison had never believed the Book of Mormon.  He was an honest searcher after truth, became impressed that JS was in communication with God; established a living religion and living Church.  Active in the Church in Britain.  Came to Utah.  His wife died in the handcart episode of 1856 and this really hit him hard.  Then he found things far less affluent in Utah than he had supposed.  Then he found that no new revelations had been announced by Brigham Young, and could only suppose that BY was not in touch with God.  Impressed with the emphasis placed on materialities and the absence of spirituality in Utah.  Came to Utah as an architect and found little opportunity for employment.  So stated Peep O’Day under the sponsorship of Godbe, and Godbe essentially supported him for many years.  Later in life, despite his wife’s death in 1856, he never remarried.  Was essentially an ascetic, a celibate.

        4.  The Stenhouse story of Godbe & Harrison in NY is not correct, and Tullidge essentially says this between the lines.  After their frank conversations, they conclude that JS, whom they believed was honest and spiritual, was a spiritual medium and did not know it.  Most of the instructions came through him from God.  But occasionally, evil spirits conveyed things to him that were from the devil.  Godbe & Harrison recognized they could not start a rival church or religion, but thought they could improve things by reform from within and that was their intention.  They pressed for a confrontation with Brigham Young, thinking this was one way of pinpointing the weaknesses of church policy.  Their troubles were not ZCMI or mining policy, but at the time of the split those were bit issues, which divided the Godbeites from others.  They also opposed polygamy and this was more important than the economic issue.  So polygamy and materiality were their principal complaints.

        5.  As for spiritualism, Godbe had been in London often on business and spiritualism was in the air.  Thought that when Godbe & Harrison had their New Your conversations, the spiritualism interpretation of JS given above occurred “naturally” to WSG.  No information as to just what message came. Or just what kind of manifestation.

        6.  Says Godbe was in mining as early as 1865.  Carried a whole set of mining equipment and works to Wyoming in 1865.  Involved in the “Chicago” mine at Tooele.  (Perhaps this is how Kelsey involved also.)  Says Godbe lost money during the 1869 period, 1870.  But by 1871 he was able to put $100,000 into the Salt Lake Tribune.  This was done with mining profits from the Chicago Mine and his sales of stock in London.  Since he was involved in mining in the late 186o’s and Brigham Young knew it, and since BY married him in April 1869, this shows that his trouble with BY was not over mining policy.

I told Mr. Godbe we would be willing to help him with his research and writing.  That if he needed certain kind of information, we would try to get it for him.  He is a good friend, apparently, of O. N. Malmquist, and of course Everett Cooley.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Thursday 25 May 1972]

At dinner I sat next to Homer Durham with interesting conversation.  I asked him if he had ever heard Dr. Widtsoe tell about the controversy in the Quorum of the Twelve in regard to whether Temple garments should be worn only in the Temple or also outside the Temple.  He said Dr. Widtsoe had never discussed it with him, but he had heard the full story from Franklin L. West.  It appears that sometime in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s the Quorum of the Twelve had discussed this matter and had finally concluded that garments were designed to be worn only in the Temple.  Brother Joseph Fielding Smith was not satisfied with this decision and returned to the next meeting saying that he had had a manifestation that the decision was wrong and that Temple garments should be worn all the time.  He presented this matter so strongly and earnestly that apparently the decision was reversed and we have the policy, which has continued to present.

He said that Dr. Widtsoe had discussed with him one controversy.  Apparently the Twelve had debated, again sometime in the 20’s or early 30’s the question of whether Adam was the first living thing on earth.  Brother Joseph Fielding Smith took a strong attitude based upon reading Genesis and other scriptures that Adam was the first living thing. Brother James E. Talmage took the attitude that one must accept, where scriptures do not especially say differently, the findings of science that life preceded Adam for many thousands of years.  Apparently Brother Talmage lost the scriptural debate.  Not long afterward, he visited Adam ondi Ahman in Missouri and in scratching around at that location found the fossil of a trilobite.  He carried it back triumphantly to the next meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve as proof to them that there had existed trilobites—living things—before Adam had built his altar.  A nice story!

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Thursday 22 June 1972]


Yesterday evening at 9:25 President Joseph Fielding Smith died of a heart attack at the home of his daughter Mrs. Amelia (Bruce R.) McConkie.  This offers an opportunity to make a few reflections upon the Prophet.  He has served as President of the Church since January 1970, a period of 2 ½ years.  He would have completed 96 years by the middle of this month. . . . Persons who knew him personally have said that he was a kindly compassionate man in his personal life, and I believe this.  George Ellsworth, whose mother was a neighbor and friend of Joseph Fielding Smith, showed me some letters, which Joseph Fielding Smith had written to his mother.  They did in fact show compassion, poetic sensitivity, and spirituality—also a certain flexibility in personal matters.  While this was true, the impression of the body of the Church had of Brother Smith, gathered from his behavior in the pulpit and from his scriptural writings, was one of an uncompromising theologian, rigid doctrinal authority, and harsh judge of human behavior.  He gave the impression that he was always angry or solemn.  One never saw him smile.  One never heard him joke in the pulpit.  His pulpit admonitions were strongly expressed.  He came close to the Latter-day Saint version of a hell-fire and damnation preacher.

It is difficult to explain these characteristics.  I know from personal experience that he had a sense of humor.  One summer when I was working in the archives I got into the elevator and Joseph Fielding Smith was also in the elevator.  Some other person got into the elevator also whose name I do not recall.  As the old slow elevator was moving, Brother Joseph Fielding said to this other person:  “Did you know that King David was constipated?”  “No, how do you reckon that?”  Well, it says in the Bible that King David sat on his throne for 40 years and was not moved.”  We all chucked and exited from the elevator.  Other persons have told me stories of his sense of humor, but they seem completely unbelievable because of his behavior in the pulpit and thus the stories have not had wide circulation.

Future historians will ask the impact of Joseph Fielding Smith’s tenure as President of the Church.  My own impression is that the Prophet was alert, understood the general events that transpired, but did not have the physical or emotional energy to initiate and supervise the execution of programs.  My impression is that the programs, which were initiated under his presidency, were planned and administered under the direction of his two counselors, Harold B. Lee and Eldon Tanner.  Those who predicted a purge of the Church under Joseph Fielding Smith were doomed to disappointment.  This did not occur.  Those who anticipated an uncompromising doctrinal position were also wrong.  No attempt was made to impose his particular doctrinal pets upon the Church nor was there any attempt to get into the presiding councils of the Church persons who were noted for their support of his particular doctrinal position.  Many persons predicted that Bruce McConkie would be elevated to the rank of apostle, but this did not happen.  The image of President Smith was the kindly patriarch who smiled benignly in approval as the councils of the Church called persons to positions and inaugurated programs of significance.

I have already recorded in this diary our experience with the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency in the Temple—and of the meeting over which President Smith presided and which he personally conducted.  He seemed to be quite aware of everything that went on but did not interpose his own point of view or position. . . .

Just a minute ago Sister Flore Chappuis came into the office and said that Joseph Fielding Smith told his daughter Amelia yesterday that he wanted to go to Fast Meeting in his regular ward, the Eighteenth Ward.  She pointed out that their Fast Meeting this year is at 10:15 a.m.; that’s much too early, she said.  He said no.  I want to go, and I want you to take me.  So, of course, she had to take him.  And everybody in the ward thinks that he knew he was going to die because he not only was present at the meeting and sang vigorously the sacrament song in a manner to which he has not been accustomed in recent years, but that after the meeting he went out of his way to shake hands with all the Bishopric, with all the Deacons and Priests, and with all of the other people in the ward.  Also the Bishop had announced a special party in honor of his birthday, and he looked up at the bishop in a very skeptical, almost admonishing way as if to say, maybe you will be there, but I won’t because I am going to die before then.

Flore said that when he saw her—a long time employee in the Historical Department—he looked up, smiled, and waved at her.  She said that many years ago when she was supporting her son in the mission, he asked her how much she had to send him each month.  She replied $125 a month.  He said you’re not getting paid enough to do that, and her next check showed a $30 per month increase.  That, she said, was not a very common thing in Church employment.

She said she had heard women debate which one of Joseph Fielding’s three wives will first meet him on the other side, and she laughingly replied, “Jessie Evans Smith was the most assertive of the three and she will push her way to the front to meet him first!”

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Monday 3 July 1972]


Sam Beal came in to see me this afternoon.  He has lost most of his eyesight and has to do most of his scholarly work from memory and from materials his wife reads to him.  He is now retired and lives in Pocatello.  Sam said that within the last year he completed a history of his father, Henry D. Beal, and also a synopsis of the life of his grandfather, George Washington Bean, which he has distributed to the family.  He said that he would donate one to the Church and send it to me for my attention.

Sam said that a group in Madison County has written the manuscript for a history of that region.  A manuscript of perhaps 250 or 300 pages.  Those in charge are Harold Forbush and _______ Clement of Rexburg.  He said Harold was being offered some kind of judgeship and was quite happy about it.  Apparently they had asked him to write an introduction to the book.  In doing so, he was writing a longer piece that the usual forward, because he was commenting on some of the chapters that would appear in the book.  He was particularly concerned with the chapter on Ricks College written by Professor Norman Ricks.  He said that Professor Ricks had gotten to the point of the proposal in 1955 to move Ricks College from Rexburg to Idaho Falls and then dropped it without saying a word about it.   So Sam in his introduction was filling in the lacunae on that controversy.  He wanted to tell me essentially what he had written and ask me if I thought it was all right for him to say this.  What he related sounded well balanced and expressed in good taste and judgment, and I, therefore, told him he should write it and have it published so that the true history of that controversy from one of the insiders would be in print.  He said he would not quote me or refer to me in a footnote but that he was glad to have my personal expression of approval on this and that it would be in print within a few weeks.

The story he told is something like this.  Wilkinson had persuaded the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve, and Board of Education of the Church that there was every advantage to moving Rick’s College from Rexburg to Idaho Falls.  When, the decision was announced, the people in Rexburg could not believe it—were astonished—were depressed.  They formed a committee of 1,000 and conducted a campaign against moving the college.  One, they would each write letters, and encourage others to write letters to the First Presidency expressing their disappointment and disapproval.  Two, they prepared a document to present to President McKay arguing persuasively against the Wilkinson position paper.  Normally a member of Rick’s faculty would have written this paper, but they thought this was impolitic and so they asked Sam, a member of Idaho State University faculty but a former member of Rick’s College faculty, to prepared the paper.  He admits he was very hard on Wilkinson and his facts.

In addition to this, he wrote a letter to President McKay in which he gave two reasons why the college should not be moved to Idaho Falls—(1) It was immoral considering the manner in which the Ricks and Rexburg people had sacrificed to keep the college alive.  Sam said that when he was there, presumably during the depression of the 1930s, there were only 12 faculty members and 350 students and the college had to get by with an appropriation of $10,000 one year and $14,000 another year; the remainder had to be made up by donations of various kinds from local people.  (2) A spiritual reason.  He emphasized the kind of people there were in Rexburg.  The kind of atmosphere at the college—the good influence on the student and so on.  He said this spiritual atmosphere could not be duplicated anywhere else.  He thought a college should be judged, not by the number of students nor by the annual budget nor by the publications of the faculty, but by what it did to the individual students.  In these terms he thought the college had done a marvelous work in the students it had turned out over the years.

Apparently the opposition of this group and the public outcries caused President McKay to hold a hearing.  I think Sam did not say where the hearing was being help, but I gathered that it was being held in Salt Lake City—it could have been Idaho Falls.  At any rate, Wilkinson made his elaborate presentation with charges and diagrams and tables and other well-prepared documents.  It sounded like an open and shut case.  Everybody seemed to be completely persuaded—everybody thought that President McKay, who had already announced his own expectation of moving it, would simply ask for a motion to approve.  Instead of that, he asked if there were any comments.  There was a comment by a local Church leader—I gather Dell Taylor, probably a Stake President, who emphasized the wide spread opposition in Rexburg to the move.  “If you could only hear these wonderful Brethren in Rexburg….” President McKay took up the cue quickly and said “Do you think we should hold a hearing in Rexburg?”  President Taylor said, “Oh, President McKay, if only we could.”  So President McKay stipulated that a hearing would be held in Rexburg.  At that point Rexburg won the crucial victory.

Dell Taylor came to Salt Lake and tried to see President Clark to persuade him.  President Clark said, “You have been rebellious, Brother Taylor, and I do not want to see you.”  This crushed him.  Nevertheless, he persevered.  

At the hearing in Rexburg there was plenty of opposition registered and eventually President McKay made the decision to change the prior decision and leave the college in Rexburg and build it up.  According to Sam, when President McKay finally told Brother Taylor that the college would remain in Rexburg, President McKay said, “You know, I have not felt right ever since we made that decision, but now that we have reversed the decision, the feeling of depression has all left me.”  And Sam uses the word inspired in referring to this decision.

I asked Sam to tell me how he came to be called Sam, and he dictated the following explanation to Chris:

“I don’t know about towns everywhere, but the towns in Southern Utah, especially the town of Ephraim and to a lesser extent Richfield, the people have a great disposition to give each other nicknames.  During my high school days in Richfield, Utah, it became a practice for the boys to nickname each other.  Accordingly, I was nicknamed “Sam” after one Sam Uttley, who was a town bum.  He had a companion named Hy Riley (a compatriot) and one of my friends was called Hy—his name was Wendell.  Another boy was named Al—his name was Glen, but he was named Al after Al Potter, who was the junk man in the community.  One of my brothers was called Luke—his name was David.

And that name Sam was taken to my bosom and I was called that by my friends.  The name followed me to the University of Utah; I registered under it and while at the conclusion of my scholastical career, I attempted intelligently to make the change; it didn’t happen.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Monday 17 July 1972]


 AS TOLD TO LJA     JULY 17, 1972

(1) Ed was invited to give a talk to an inter-stake M-Men and Gleaner Fireside in Memory Grove in the canyon east of Salt Lake City.  They also invited Jessie Evans Smith to sing a couple of solos.  Joseph Fielding Smith went along with her.

At the meeting Ed Talked 10 or 15 minutes on values, then Joseph Fielding Smith leaned over to Jessie and said,  “You get up and tell them of your experience professionally.”  She said, “No, I would rather not.”  He insisted that she must.  President Smith then leaned over to the person conducting and said, “Get up and tell them that Jessie is going to make a few remarks.”  Jessie glowers at him, then smiles, and goes to the microphone to tell about her experiences—of her early desire to be a singer and after some experience she decided to come home to be with the Saints in Salt Lake City.  Then she became Democratic County executive secretary.  The person in charge then announced that Jessie would sing a couple of songs, so Jessie arises and tells the group that President Smith had pulled rank on her and now she was going to pull rank on him.  She went over and pretended that she was grabbing him by the ear.  “Come on, you have got to sing a duet with me.”  So they sang a couple of duets, and she remarked to the students between the numbers, “You see how I get even with him!”

(2) Susie Young Gates had died.  Ed was walking through the rotunda of the Church Office Building when Richard R. Lyman stopped to talk with him for a minute.  Joseph Fielding came by, and said to the two of them, “Did you know that Susie Young Gates is dead?”  Brother Lyman replied, “Yes, and now I have no doubt that the gospel is true; for some years I have had a question in my mind about the Lord’s goodness because He allowed Susie Young Gates to live with us so long, but now that He has finally taken her, I have no doubt that the gospel is true.”  Joseph Fielding Smith pretended to be shocked and said in a very stern voice, and with a stern expression on his face, “Brother Lyman, you know you should never say such a thing.”  Then a twinkle came to his eye, he smiled ever so slightly, and said, “However, I must admit I have had similar feelings myself.”

(3) Joseph Fielding Smith was attending Stake Conference with Adam S. Bennion.  Brother Bennion, who later told this story, observed that one of the persons was getting up frequently and going out.  It was the time of the World Series.  A game was being played and Brother Bennion finally realized that this person was going out to get the score.  So Brother Bennion passed a note over to this brother and asked him what the score was.  The brother wrote back, “Yankees  4; White Socks 2, in the eighth inning.”  Brother Bennion looked at it and started to crumble it.  Joseph Fielding, who had been leaning over trying to read the note, reached out his hand and got it from Brother Bennion and said, “Don’t keep it quiet.  I am just as much interested in the score as you are.”

(4) When Ed Lyon was a regular in the Institute of Religion at the University of Utah, a young fellow came in to see him about a private matter.  He was tall, blond, and blue eyed and everybody recognized him as a son of prominent converts from Holland. He apparently came to see Brother Lyon on this matter because Brother Lyon had been president of the Dutch mission and had a special interest in immigrants from Holland.  Brother Lyon knew that this was the youngest son of the immigrants and that his older brothers had been very active in the Church.  One was a Stake President, another was a High Councilor, another in a Bishopric.

The boy explained to Brother Lyon that he had just discovered as the result of some genealogical research that one of his ancestors was a Negro.  His great-grandfather had apparently gone to the West Indies and married a native woman who was half Negro and half Indian so that he was either one-64th or one-128th Negro.  The boy was about to be married, and he wanted Brother Lyon to tell him whether he should tell the girl and the bishop, since almost certainly he would not be allowed to go to the Temple to be married.  Brother Lyon told the boy, “Let me think about it a little.”  He explained that Brother Spencer W. Kimball was coming to give a talk to Institute leaders on the Negro issue.  “I’ll ask him what he thinks,” he said.  When Brother Lyon went to Brother Kimball, Brother Kimball said “I prefer not to say one thing about it.  I think you should talk to Brother Joseph Fielding Smith.”  Joseph Fielding met with the same group of Institute leaders to respond to their questions about doctrine, so Brother Lyon got the microphone and asked Brother Joseph Fielding Smith to respond to the question.  He mentioned the details except the name and asked Joseph Fielding for his opinion as whether the boy should tell the girl and the Bishop.  Brother Joseph Fielding gave an immediate and stern response, saying, “He is part Negro.  Of course, he should tell the girl; of course, he should tell the Bishop; of course he should not be married in the Temple.  Our doctrine is very clear on that.”

When they were singing the final song, Brother Joseph F. motioned to Brother Lyon to come up.  Brother Lyon walked up to him and Joseph Fielding whispered to him, “I have been thinking about that problem you raised.  I have been thinking of all of the complications in the lives of that young brother’s family—the Stake President, the High Councilor, the member of the Bishopric, and so on.  All of these have been married in the Temple and have participated in Church ordinances.  This would ruin their lives.  “I think it best, Brother Lyon, if you advise the young Brother to keep this matter to himself.  He should not tell his fiancé nor his Bishop. This is something between him and the Lord, and if the Lord ratifies the sealing in the Temple, who are we to question it?”

In the pulpit we saw Joseph Fielding Smith as the solemn and stern scriptorian.  We saw him privately as a person with humor and compassion.

[LJAD, Ed Lyon Stories about Joseph Fielding Smith, 17 July 1972]

Juanita Brooks came into my office this morning to tell me the desire of Ray Lee and others in the Lee family to publish all of the diaries of John D. Lee including his missionary diaries.  After a considerable discussion she seemed to be wanting my O.K. to publish the diaries in our possession, and I pointed out that this clearance must be made through Earl Olson, so she has now gone to his office to talk with him about it.

I asked her to autograph my copies of Uncle Will and John D. Lee.  In the course of our discussion, which lasted an hour or so, she mentioned how much old-timers at St. George reacted against the BYU film “Windows of Heaven.”  For one thing they reacted against the presentation of Lorenzo Snow as an old feeble man hobbling up to the pulpit, when, in fact, he was vigorous, firm, and full of vitality.  They also reacted against the presentation depicting a sudden miraculous manifestation.  They did not have the feeling that there was anything special in his message that day in 1900.  It was a good sermon, they were pleased with it, but nothing out of the ordinary.  President Snow did not reveal any special manifestation or impression that he had received one in regard to his message.  The drama of the occasion is something that appears later in the retelling of the incident.

According to the old-timers, when President Snow, President Joseph F. Smith and others were leaving St. George, they got into a horserace, which proceeded long enough to really endanger the lives of the horses.  President Snow as president, led out in the procession, and perhaps he wasn’t gong fast enough or something.  Anyway, President Smith decided to pass him.  President Snow’s carriage driver did not feel it proper to allow anyone to pass the president of the Church, and so he touched up his horses to keep ahead.  The more Joseph F. Smith’s driver touched his horses up to pass, the more President Snow’s driver touched his horses up to stay in the lead.  Apparently this went on for some time with the horses galloping rapidly.

Sister Brooks did not say how this ended—whether Joseph F. gave up or whether President Snow’s driver finally allowed him to pass, but at any rate there was apparently a little horse playing.  This would also suggest that President Snow, though of advanced age—he would have been 86 in 1900—was a vigorous and healthy man.

Juanita also repeated what she knew about the Fancher party gold.  There is supposed to have been $4,000 in gold coins accompanying the Fancher party.  This gold was never found officially, but Brother Stevens from one of the small settlements south of Provo is supposed to have hidden the gold in his house and finally decided in his advanced age to bring it into the Church, and he is supposed to have brought it to the President of the Church, perhaps in 1890s.  Everything about the origin of the gold is supposed to have been kept quiet.  His family denied that he had gotten it from the Mountain Meadows Massacre but had no explanation for how he acquired the coins.  Juanita is certain that this is the gold from the MMM.  She jokingly suggests that this is where they got the gold to make the Angel Moroni on the Salt Lake Temple.

Juanita also left with me Xerox copies given to her by Huntington Library of the life of George Washington Gill Averett and the letters of Oliver Cowdery.  I told her I would give these to one of our typists to have typescripts prepared.  I asked her if we should get the approval from Huntington to publish the Cowdery letters, would she be interested in editing it.  She said she would be interested.

I have the impression that during our long discussion she went out of her way to assure me that she was not interested in sensation mongering and that she did not wish to harm the Church in any of her writings.  In other words she seemed to be trying to say in her proud manner that she seems reconciled to the Church and to the Gospel and would like the Church to have more confidence in her in this respect.  George Tanner is conducting a campaign on her behalf to try to arrange so that she might be employed here.  He suggests that President Tanner is not opposed and that they are trying to get an indication of whether President Lee and President Romney would be opposed.  If not, then I think George will propose to me that we employ Sister Brooks to do research and writing.  I think she would welcome such an employment opportunity.  If her name is cleared and we are given the right to employ her, I am still not certain that I would do so.  I am more anxious to get young people with Masters Degrees who are vigorous and have fresh ideas.  Perhaps I am saying that I want somebody more malleable, less stubborn, less controversial than Juanita Brooks.  Maybe I’m ungallant or maybe I am being realistic—or maybe just poor judgment.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Friday 28 July 1972]


Brother Dilworth Young came in today to bring a copy of Bill Hartley’s article on the history of the Seventies.  He said that he had read it and also Milton Hunter.  The two of them were agreed that the article is not ready for publication.  He said that it contained some specific mistakes of omission and commission and that in general it was not mature.  He said that it would require quite a bit of work to constitute a good history.  He said that I should assign some mature LDS historian like Jim Allen or Bob Matthews to work on the history of the Seventies, and that he and Milton Hunter and others would be glad to talk over with him some of the problems connected with writing a history of the Seventies.  He said there were three crucial points in the history of the Seventies:  (1) the first appointments;  (2) the creation of the first council by getting the presidents of quorums two through eight to be presidents;  (3) the elimination of the idea of a quorum of persons permanently assigned to them and scattered all over the world—the localization of the Seventies into a specific quorum for a specific ward or stake.  The original Seventies, he said, were mostly High Priests, and he thought that it was the Lord’s intention all along that the Seventies be a functional group not a step in the priesthood from Elder to High Priest.  Originally a Seventy might be an Elder or a High Priest.  All sorts of confusion existed as the result of the permanent assignments to a quorum as they moved around.  It was impossible for them to get together for a quorum meeting.  I think he said that President Taylor was the one who saw that they were localized within a particular stake.

Brother Young was very friendly and cordial and wishes us well in our work.  I asked him specifically whether they had materials on the history of the Seventies in their office.  He said no they did not.  Levi Edgar Young had intended for a long time to write the history of the Seventies and they thought that it had been written, but when he died they went through all of his papers and found nothing but a few notes.  He said Antoine Ivins was very familiar with the history of the Seventies, but he didn’t leave much either.  He said Milton Hunter was capable of doing a good history, but his health was such that he couldn’t very well undertake it.  All the materials necessary in writing their history are in the Historical Department, he said.

He said that as Church Historian I should read the minutes of the First Council of Seventy kept by John D. Lee.  He implied that we had that in our archives and that they have a copy of it.  If we don’t we ought to borrow theirs long enough to Xerox it.  He said if anything was ever to be done about creating or filling out the first quorum they would almost certainly have to bring in persons regardless of their priesthood.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Thursday, 17 August 1972]

Today at lunch I ran into Whitney and Alice Smith and visited with them for a little while.  Whitney told a story about Joseph Fielding Smith.  He said that his father, Winslow Farr Smith had given to Joseph Fielding Smith, then Church Historian, a letter written by Helen Marr Kimball, to his mother with the understanding that he would pick the letter up later.  Some months later he appeared to get back the letter from Joseph Fielding.  He said, “Joseph, you remember the letter that I gave you several weeks ago from Helen Marr Kimball?”  The answer was yes.  “Joseph, you remember that I only loaned it to you, and that I said that I would come back to pick it up later?”  “Yes, I remember that.”  “Well, would you mind getting it for me?”  Answer:  “No.”  “Now you specifically remember our agreement?”  “Yes, I remember the agreement, but you can’t have it.”  “Now Brother Joseph, I have a perfect right to that letter and you know that I do and I could get a lawyer and go to court and sue you for that letter.”  Joseph Fielding’s answer was, “I know you could sue me for the letter and I know the court would tell me I would have to give it to you, but you and I know that you will not sue, and I’m here to say that I will not give you back the letter.  It belongs here and here it is going to stay.”

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Wednesday, 23 August 1972]

I had a telephone call this morning from Dick Poll who said that he had been asked by Mary Firmage and DeLamar Jensen to collaborate with De to write a biography of Hugh Brown.  He had looked at the materials in the possession of Mary Firmage and they included valuable materials relating to Zina D. H. Young and her family, which ultimately ought to be given to the Church archives.  He asked if our office would be interested enough in the project sufficient to Xerox a copy of all such materials to send to him so he could work on it in Illinois.  I told him I thought we could do that provided it was spaced out a little so that we didn’t do all of the Xeroxing at once.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Friday, 25 August 1972]

A person in a position to know, but who does not wish to be identified told me a story Friday afternoon related to the appointment of Elder Tanner as a member of the First Presidency.  This person said that after the death of President Moyle, President McKay had thought about various persons to take his [President Moyle’s] place as a suitable person to direct the temporal affairs of the Church.  He had also consulted with the Quorum of the Twelve as to a suitable person.  According to my informant a number of persons had recommended Ezra Taft Benson for this position and the Quorum of Twelve concurred in this action and formally approved his name for submission to the conference.  According to the informant, President McKay expected to submit his [Elder Benson’s] name in the conference the next morning.  During the night, however, President McKay had a dream, which he considered to be of divine origin, which told him that he should appoint Elder Tanner and submit his name.  President McKay heeded this impression and when the names were proposed for sustaining vote, he inserted the name of N. Eldon Tanner to be his second councilor.  The Quorum of the Twelve were reportedly as surprised as anyone else at this action.  

My informant said that Claire Middlemiss, the secretary of President McKay, and a relative of Elder Benson—and who had advocated Elder Benson as the most suitable person—was downright angry.  She thought that some insidious influence had caused President McKay to drop Elder Benson’s name, but President McKay assured her that no one had influenced him except the Lord, and the Lord had done so directly without him being influenced to take the case to the Lord.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Monday, 28 August 1972]


This morning Lauritz Peterson told me that for several years, under the direction of the “Brethren,” he has been compiling a history of the temples and temple work and has compiled 7 volumes of material on this subject.  He says that he was instructed by President Tanner not to make these available to anyone without his (President Tanner’s) permission.

Much of this material deals with the secret and sacred ceremonies being performed in the temples and with their development over time.

While he is not authorized to allow anybody to see this file nor even to discuss it with anyone, he said he would be glad to discuss any aspect of temple work which is not of a highly secretive nature with our staff, who because of the work they are doing have need to be informed of this.  I asked him whether he would talk confidentially with Gordon Irving who is doing an article under my direction on adoptions, and he said he would be glad to do so in some private location.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Friday, 8 September 1972]


Frank Jonas came to see me this morning for two reasons:  (1) He had heard from Dean Brimhall that I had seen the write-up on a meeting of Harry Hopkins’ Roving Reporter with the First Presidency of the Church in 1935.  Present at that meeting were Presidents Grant, Ivins, and Clark, Dean Brimhall, and the reporter and perhaps others.  (2) Second, he wanted to tell me of his plan to write a history of Utah politics.  He plans to write three volumes.  The first covering the period 1847-1896, the second from 1896-1932, and the third from 1932 to 1972.  He believes 1932 is a real dividing point in the political history of Utah.  He is working on the third volume now and wants to complete this first.  If his energy and mind and body hold out, he will then go to the other two volumes.

He is two years from retirement.  In preparation for the three-volume work, he has had students writing master’s theses and doctoral dissertations on each of the elections in Utah’s history.  And I think I understand him to say that there was now coverage on each election since 1896.  In addition, he has compiled elaborate statistics so that he can measure quantitatively factors involved in each political campaign.

Joseph J. Cannon, Gordon Taylor Hyde, and Henry D. Moyle (?) were the three authors of the famous pamphlet, which appeared in 1948 “Morals and the Mayor,” which dealt with J. Bracken Lee as mayor of Price.  Lee at the time was running against Herbert Maw for governor of Utah.  According to Jonas Orval W. Adams, the banker, arranged a meeting between Bracken Lee and eight of the twelve apostles at which time they agreed to support Bracken Lee for governor as against Herbert Maw.  Jonas did not say who the eight apostles were.

Jonas said that Joseph F. Merrill and Stephen L. Richards, two Democrats, or former Democrats, were designated by Church authorities to lobby with legislators against the Enabling act being considered to permit Utahans to receive relief money from the federal government.  President Grant was apparently adamant on Utah not making it possible for this relief money to be received here.  But, of course, Brothers Merrill and Richards were not successful.  Jonas got a rundown on this meeting from Walt Granger, former congressman, who at that time in the early 1930s was a Utah state legislator.  He had been a bishop and was mayor of Cedar City and had seen the problems of persons who were poverty stricken and needed relief during the depression.  Neither he, a loyal churchman, or any substantial number of legislators were responsive to this lobbying by Elders Merrill and Richards, and Utah did pass the Enabling legislation.

I asked Frank why President Grant was so bitterly, emotionally, opposed to the New Deal, and he said that he did not know the answer.  It might have been the persuasion of J. Reuben Clark; it might have been his complete lack of confidence in Roosevelt because of the repeal of prohibition.  Anyway, it is clear that he was opposed to everything Roosevelt wanted or asked for.

Anthony W. Ivins held a dinner in his home at which Elbert Thomas and Heber J. Grant were present.  According to Gordon Taylor Hyde and Florence Ivins Hyde, Elbert Thomas, a very mild man—soft spoken and a neighbor of President Grant, could say very little, but President Grant went on a tirade about the New Deal.  He was absolutely apoplectic in denouncing it—lost his cool—and lost some the respect of those present.  Elbert Thomas nevertheless was victorious in the election to the delight of some, if not all, of the Ivins family.

I asked Frank for an appraisal of Harold B. Lee, and he said he would rather not try to give me one because his experiences with Harold B. Lee had not been good ones.  He had tried to get appointments with Harold B. Lee and his requests had been studiously ignored.  One of his students, Ellen Callister Gunnell, who wrote a fine master’s thesis on E. H. Callister, had been discouraged in writing the thesis by Brother Lee.  Obviously, President Lee does not trust—has never trusted—Brother Jonas.

Frank is perhaps less insistent than he used to be—perhaps the effect of his growing older and slowing down.  One of his boys, Leland, an MBA graduate from Harvard, he says, is a devout Latter-day Saint.  Another son has worked for the Historical Society, and now works in Western Americana at the University of Utah Library with Everett Cooley.  He is a good librarian.  Frank will apparently leave all of his interviews and files with this boy.  His wife, Dorothy, is in the Tabernacle Choir.  I don’t know how active Frank is in the Church, although I do know that he attends church at least periodically.  In fact, he was present at one of my talks at Federal Heights Ward.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Monday, 18 September 1972]


The other day Ed Lyon told how Sam Taylor’s Nightfall at Nauvoo was written.  Several years ago—I gather about four years ago—when Nauvoo Restoration was trying to convey its message, one of the General Authorities on the committee conceived the idea of having a motion picture short or possibly even a full length motion picture on Nauvoo.  Who could write the script for such a film?

After toying with the idea for some time they finally decided that the Church already had a fine member down in California who did screen writing and would do a fine job.  The committee of General Authorities agreed to ask Sam, and he agreed to do so.  They gave him a retainer and agreed to pay his expenses to go back to Nauvoo to soak up local color.

He went back expecting to stay three or four days, but he remained there apparently four or five weeks taking notes and making descriptions of the countryside and so on.  He returned and after a short period of time had a script on Nauvoo.  This was submitted to the Church committee and apparently all of them thought that it was just fine.

Ed was not clear as to whether it was a script for a 20-minute short or for a full-length feature.  But apparently everybody was enthusiastic about it.  They decided that it was so good that it would get general distribution in commercial theatres, so they thought the Church ought to have a proper contract with Bother Taylor so that the film could be reproduced and shown commercially.  They inquired around and had the lawyers prepare a contract, which would permit the Church to show it.

Essentially, Brother Taylor would sign away all of his rights both for original payment and for royalties.  By doing so this would permit movies to show it with little cost except cost of producing the film tape.  They thought all of this was reasonable because they had already paid him to write the film and also paid his expenses in Nauvoo.

Upon receipt of the contract, Sam Taylor after considering the matter some time, wrote back to say that he did not dare sign the contract because he would be immediately banished from the screenwriters union.  When you join that union you agree to abide by the union rules and nobody can get a screen writing assignment commercially except through the union or with the permission of the union.  So he told the Church that he could not sign the contract for that reason.

The Church, on the other hand, could not see how it could be distributed and shown without the contract and so there was an impasse.  Nothing further was done.  Presumably the Church still has the script, which Sam wrote.

Seeing that his piece was not apt to be filmed, Sam therefore decided that with his background in Nauvoo and all of the research that he had done he would write a novel on Nauvoo.  The result was Nightfall at Nauvoo.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Monday, 16 October 1972]

Maurine Whipple came in again this morning and spent three or four hours.  In essence she told me the story of her life.  A certain amount of that story is told by Mary Ruth Bracy and Linda Lambert in Dialogue, winter 1971, pages 55 to 62.  That story is authentic because much of what Maurine told me is consistent with material in that article, except for one thing—the lead for the article says that The Giant Joshua was well received except in Utah. This, said Maurine, is misleading because it was well received by many people in Utah although there were many in Utah who did not receive it well.  She insists that she had at the time the book was published and has had since a large number of admirers in Utah.  Here is the story of her life as she told to me, leaving out some portions that are told in the Dialogue article.

She enjoyed writing from as early as she can remember.  She remembers writing a theme in the eighth grade in St. George, which lays out the story, which she later submitted to Houghton Mifflin as a trilogy, the first book of which was The Giant Joshua.  Her high school teachers told her she was a good writer but apparently never in a manner that convinced her.  She apparently thought that they were just being polite.  Then she came to the University of Utah.  She remembers a visiting professor of literature from Columbia University who told her she was a fine writer and asked her if she wanted to be a writer.  She said no.  She apparently majored in Physical Education.  At least she taught dancing and was involved in a recreation program while in Salt Lake City as a student.  She was interested in drama, the theater, and so on.  I gather that she went down to UCLA for a little while to take some classes while she worked but she didn’t finish a master’s degree.  She did take an exam to teach in L.A. schools and placed eleventh out of 500 taking the exam.  She also was offered a very fine job but she did not take it for reasons that will shortly be made clear.

Maurine had supported herself all the way through high school and college.  Her parents were very poor.  On the first opportunity, she accepted a job at Georgetown, Idaho.  She was well received by the students and other faculty though not by the principal—a person of little education and suspicious nature.  During her year at Georgetown she contracted appendicitis.  In those days a prolonged period of recovery was required.  Rather than stay in Georgetown, she thought convalescence in private would give her an opportunity to keep her mind active with a writing project.  She rented a motel room in nearby Montpelier.  I gather she remained there for about three weeks during which time she wrote a short novel about Beaver Dam Wash.  She had a friend in Salt Lake City who was sympathetic with her and she later showed this novel to that friend.  Her name was Lillian something, and she was in the Art Barn here in Salt Lake City.  Lillian apparently went that summer to the writer’s school in Boulder, Colorado conducted by the department of English at the University of Colorado.  They had invited John Peale Bishop, long-time literary critic at Harvard University to be the principal lecturer at the writer’s school.  Maurine had gone back to St. George, but apparently Lillian had showed the writers school people her short novel.  Maurine received a telegram from Boulder asking her to come immediately to the writer’s school—that she could come without paying any fees.

Maurine, young as she was and inexperienced, did not report in to the conference officially but hunted for a place where she could do some writing and found one that had an attic and began to attend classes and do some composing until one day she was surprised by the police who were looking for her.  Her manuscript, although the last to be turned in, was one of the first to be examined by John Peale Bishop, who thought it was an outstanding first novel by a young writer.  The humor was absolutely spontaneous and it was not an autobiographical piece, which is so common with first writers.  He told the director of the school that he must talk to her.  The director of the school said that according to his records she hadn’t reported in.  A contact with St. George reported that she had already left several days before and that she was bound to be there.  The police had finally located her in this attic, which she had rented and at which she was working.  She went over to the director of the school who said that it was absolutely impossible that John Peale Bishop could talk with her because people paid hundreds of dollars to have him comment on their manuscripts.  Here she had paid nothing, had turned in her manuscript late, and so on.  So Bishop suggested that she drop by his room in the fraternity house.  She said that she and he sat on the steps of the fraternity house until 4:00 in the morning talking about writing fiction.

Anyway, she won the award for the best manuscript submitted at the conference.  A publisher wanted to look at it and she gave it to Houghton Mifflin. After they considered it, they wrote to her in St. George that it was too short, that she would have to pad it and lengthen it.  She replied that she did not wish to do that but she had another idea for a longer book.  Would they be interested in considering that?  They replied that they would.  So she prepared a synopsis of the idea that she had had in the eighth grade, of a novel about the development of a Mormon family within the Mormon cultural background.  Their editor was Ferris Greenslet, certainly one of the great editors in American fictional history.  He told her about the Houghton Mifflin fellowship prize and said that she was eligible.  She then wrote two chapters and on the basis of those two chapters plus the synopsis she won the prize.  I gather it was for $1,500, though she didn’t say so.

She had no money and it was not consistent that she carry a regular job and try to do writing, so she taught tap dancing in the mornings and did the research in the early afternoon and began writing at 4:00 to 5:00 in the evening, which went until about midnight.  It cost her $50 a month on bare essentials.  She went through this process for approximately four years while writing The Giant Joshua.  As she would finish a chapter, she would send it to Greenslet who would have it typed and send a copy back to her. She always wrote in longhand because that was the only way she could compose.  As he would receive a chapter he would say, “you are a great writer because it is getting better as you go.”  When she had completed it, it was 600,000 words—more than twice as large as it should be.  They employed one of the finest editors, Mr. Lucer, I think, to prune it, but he gave up and finally they asked her to prune it, which she did.  It was now ready to publish.

In the meantime, although the knowledge of the text was restricted to Maurine and Greenslet, rumors began to circulate in St. George and in Salt Lake City about what she was doing.  Imagine a girl in St. George writing a book about Mormon culture for an eastern publisher!  Obviously it would have to be sensational in character, obviously it would have to be an exploitation of the Mormons, obviously it would have to be filled with cruel jokes, superstition, and so on.  Whatever the rumors and whatever their sources, they got to President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. who was disturbed about what this book might do to the image of the Church.  Certain that it could not be of benefit to the Church, he wrote to President Levi Edgar Young, a member of the First Council of Seventy, who at that time was President of the Eastern States Mission, and instructed him to use his strongest persuasion and/or threat to get Houghton Mifflin not to publish the book.  Recognizing her talent and seeing her work as a basic celebration of Mormon culture, Houghton Mifflin had visions of her novel being on the required reading list of the Mormon Church and selling tens of thousands of copies!  She kept telling them “that isn’t the way people look at things in Utah.”  When Levi Edgar Young had made his presentation, Houghton Mifflin asked him if he had read the book and, of course, he hadn’t.

They went ahead with the publication but because of the threat of the Church they decided to cut the advertising budget so that the book did not sell well initially—no great splash in the newspapers and magazines about the book.  After the book appeared Levi Edgar Young read it and was very favorable impressed.  Maurine said that upon the first opportunity he came to see her, put his arms around her and kissed her, and apologized to her saying he was wrong in trying to get the press to withdraw the book.  Another person who called by to tell her he liked the book was President Antoine Ivins of the First Council of Seventy.  Many other people—Mormons and otherwise in Utah—wrote to tell her or came by to tell her personally how much they enjoyed the book.  By and large nobody in St. George liked it.  Every novel has to have a villain and in a Mormon novel the villain has to be a Mormon.  This was not all sweetness and innocence and the people did not like it nor did they think it amounted to much. Who would ever expect a girl from St. George to ever produce anything great?

Maurine insists that her best writing came to her late in the night when she was on the verge of sleep.  She would lie down and then all of the sudden thoughts and images and words would appear in great profusion and she would get up and write them down.  She refers to this as writing from her unconscious mind—tapping the unconscious memory of mankind.  She says she believes in ESP and that somehow the Mormon pioneers took advantage of this principle and thus had a greater number of miracles—real miracles—than any other group of people of similar size.  They had real faith, deep faith, meaningful faith and were able to tap “God powers” in a way that other groups were not able to do.

A great support to her during all of these years was Pearson Corbett, teacher in the seminary.  From the beginning he appreciated her, had faith in her, recognized her talent, defended her—defended her most warmly in gatherings in St. George of ecclesiastical and civic officials.  He saw her as basically a very idealistic person in living up to her ideals of what people were like and what the Church was like—setting a very high standard of what she expected based on her early teaching.

After the book appeared she had a number of commissions from national magazines to write articles about Southern Utah—partly because of the book and also great interest about the people of Southern Utah.  She ended up broke as the result of the book and these articles gave her some income.  Among others, Look Magazine wanted to do a story of the Mormons in Utah’s Dixie.  They sent a photographer out from Hollywood to take pictures and Maurine was to write the story.  Everybody was so certain that the story would be sensationalistic and anti-church that they put all kinds of obstacles in her way.  The stake president in St. George, Harold Snow, an ignorant and narrow-minded man she says, would not allow the photographer to take pictures of boys passing the sacrament or of an ordination to the priesthood or a confirmation ceremony after baptism or a baptism and so on.  She appealed to the Church, as did the photographer.  Harold B. Lee, who by now was an apostle, was sent down.  He was also very suspicious and wanted to deal with the photographer alone and not with her, but after spending much time with her and the photographer, he warmed up and eventually gave permission for them to do everything they needed to do to make it a fine story—which she thinks it was.  She makes it out as one of the finest stories about the Mormons—the most sympathetic ever to appear in a national magazine.  She said that President Lee was a very smart man and could see the potential both good and bad.  She tells this incident.

When Harold Snow was making the strongest statements against the photographer and Maurine doing certain things, a pep rally was being held for Dixie College in down town St. George, and the photographer noted that on the lawn of the tabernacle a boy and a girl were jitter bugging and stopped for a moment while the boy took some whiskey.  The photographer made some remark, “If you won’t let me take the pictures I want, I can salvage some of my trip to take pictures like that to show what Mormon young people are doing.”  President Lee could appreciate this and apparently this helped him to cooperate with them.

Maurine told of two almost marriages in her life that followed publication of The Giant Joshua.  A food researcher in Birmingham, Alabama—I gather he was a convert to Mormonism—saw the last line of some story in the New York Times, which mentioned her.  He wrote to her and later went to see her and apparently they got together a number of times while she was in the East seeing publishers and so on, and they became engaged.  She loved him and he loved her.  Anyway they planned to be married and then suddenly something tragic happened to him.  For the life of me I can’t remember what it was—whether he was suddenly killed or died of some disease or whether he committed suicide—something tragic and sudden so that she couldn’t marry him.

She had formed a friendship with another person in Salt Lake City who had then been drafted during World War II, had been sent to Germany, was with our troops in the Battle of the Bulge, was taken prisoner, was shipped from one camp to another, and eventually liberated by American forces.  Thirteen Americans were with him in the group captured during the Battle of the Bulge.  All 13 were tortured, and according to her all 13 committed suicide.  Her own friend with whom she corresponded regularly during the war and with whom she had had this understanding about the future, was discharged, came back to Salt Lake City, spent an evening with her while they talked about the future, and then he went off and shot himself.  So those two opportunities for marriage fell through.

In the meantime, a brother of hers had returned from the war.  He had been in McArthur’s group in the Philippines.  He was a tank officer.  According to Maurine, on four different occasions all of his buddies in the tank were killed but him.  The memory of this was too much for him, and he became an alcoholic.  The family sent him to an alcoholic rehabilitation center in Washington state.  She wanted to help him and went to the center and became interested in their technique of rehabilitation.  The director of the center upon finding she was a writer asked her to write up the experience.  The director made her a member of his staff.  She went through the orientation and served as an assistant and this went on for several months.  In the meantime, the wife of the director of the center died and he remarried a younger woman who for some reason that Maurine doesn’t understand neither approved of Maurine or her project of writing a book about the center.  The new wife told the director she would leave him if he didn’t get rid of Maurine.  So, of course, the director did. Maurine went back to St. George still wanting to write the book.  One night she awoke with a start with the name Las Vegas appearing before her eyes.  She then went to Las Vegas where she had a relative—a Whipple—and asked this relative, who was a stake president as I recall, and a beloved one, if there was someone in Las Vegas who might be willing to support her while she wrote the book on alcoholic rehabilitation.  He thought for awhile and said that Johnny DiLuca would probably do it.  “I’ll write him a letter.”  Maureen went over to see him.  It was 5:00 p.m.; the secretary was not going to let Maurine in.  Johnny wasn’t seeing anybody but through appointment, but somehow he told Maurine to come in.  She asked him what he would respond if somebody asked him for $3,000.  He said, “I would ask them what for?”  She explained what for, and he agreed to give her $3,000 but he insisted that it would have to be tax exempt and it be given through the church.  She went to one church after another in Las Vegas and none of them would sponsor her on the project.  Finally she came to a little church of Religion Science and the pastor said, “Sure, we’ll do it.”  She gave him a tithe of $300 and he gave her $2,700.  The book took longer than she expected.  She went back to Johnny DiLuca, and he said, “I’ll get Johnny Brown to get another $1,000.  Johnny Brown did not want to give it, but Johnny DiLuca ordered him to give her $1,000, which he did.

When the book was completed she could not get it published because of the legal threats by this director of the alcoholic rehabilitation center in Washington who was prompted by his second wife.  Maurine says, however, that the book will be published.  She believes strongly in the method, thinks that it is more effective for many people than Alcoholics Anonymous.  She says that her chief obstacle now is Alcoholics Anonymous, which wants everything done its way.  Maureen said that she worked for five or six years on the alcoholics book.

Four or five years ago she got interested in doing this thing on Peter’s Leap.  Originally it was to be an article and then it mushroomed into a book.  She has been working with Morris Shirts—a descendant of Peter Shirts, who was the original Peter that made the leap.  She showed me a lot of photos and told me a great deal about it.  She apparently needs some support while she is finishing it.  She thinks that it will make some money, particularly from tourists.  It is something absolutely unique in American history and geography and this uniqueness has stirred her to do it.  She has been using her little income to support the family of her brother whose head was cut off and to help them through school.

A year or so ago she met John E. Morgan of Salt Lake City, apparently a nephew of Nicholas Morgan who was promoting Williamstown West in the St. George area.  She accuses him of being a promoter type and of stealing some things from her.  Maurine has a tendency to feel sorry for herself.  She has some characteristics of schizophrenia in which she finds people working against her, and I must confess I wonder if one person could have had all of the experiences of tragedy, which she has told me about having.  Could she have imagined any of them?  They sound unbelievable and yet she seems quite rational and in many ways level headed and keeps referring to the many things that she has learned in the process.  I can’t imagine anybody that has had more frustrations.  She now wants to live in Salt Lake City.  She wants somebody to support her while she writes.

What does she expect of me?  Does she think we could put her on our payroll or does she think that I could get Hardy Redd to help her?  I am not quite certain that I understand what role she expects of me.  Am I another one of the persons who, when she tells her story five years from now to another person, I will be another person who will have frustrated her in some way?

Maurine says that she has completed about half of the second book—a sequel to The Giant Joshua.  She does expect to finish it although she thinks this will take another five years.  She says that she has faith that she will get the money to support her and that she will finish all of these books which she intends to do.

An interesting thought to contemplate.  Two young women, each heading in quite different directions and in a quite different way, have forced a change in Mormon culture.  Maurine Whipple is the first native Mormon writer to produce a realistic novel of Mormon life.  If she had written the book today she would be acclaimed as one of the great novelists of the Church and in the West.  If she had come from Salt Lake City she would have found a wide basis of support even when she published it.  Then, of course, she never would have written a book like that except in a place like St. George.  That young girl still in her 20s absorbed Mormon culture, understood Mormon culture and tapped the universals and wrote a great novel of Mormon life back in the late 1930s.  In a sense she prepared the way for Virginia Sorensen, Juanita Brooks, and others.

The other young woman is Fawn Brodie, whose book forces a new approach to Church history, which is more honest, more realistic, and prepares the conditions for what we are now doing in the Historical Department.


[LJAD, LJA Diary, Wednesday, 25 October 1972]

Afterwards I was driven to motel by Evan Ellsworth and his wife Isabel Eyring Ellsworth.  He’s a brother of Rex Ellsworth.  She’s a sister of Henry Eyring, Caroline Eyring Miner, and Ethel Eyring Taylor.  He’s a horse trainer and rancher.  He said he understood the deal to sell the Florida Ranch of the Church fell through because a high Church official who had the right to approve or disapprove had bought some neighboring property and planned to develop it with a city named after him, expected the Church to buy it, would not approve sale of ranch unless they bought the property and so didn’t approve the sale.  Who could it be?  President Moyle?  Leo Ellsworth?


[LJAD, LJA Diary, Saturday, 2 December 1972]

I learned yesterday of another item that is in the vault of the First Presidency besides the seer stone which I had heard about previously.  This was the arrow that had killed Zelph which was discovered during the Zion’s Camp trek in 1833.


[LJAD, LJA Diary, Tuesday, 5 December 1972]

A brother Lloyd Ririe came up after my talk at Raymond Taylor’s funeral and asked me if I knew where the diary of John Taylor was.  I told him that I did not know, and I wasn’t sure there was a diary.  Sam Taylor had told me just before the service that he doubted that there was a diary—that virtually all of the references to the John Taylor journal mentioned in Roberts’ Life of John Taylor were found in other places, suggesting that perhaps Roberts himself did not have the journal but made it appear that he did in his style of writing.  Brother Ririe said that he was convinced that there was the diary and that he felt reasonably certain that the diary was in the hands of Ben Roberts, son of Brigham (or could it have been Brigham Roberts Jr.?).  I told Brother Ririe that Brother Roberts had told Truman Madsen that he did not have it.  Brother Ririe said, “That doesn’t prove he doesn’t.  He has been disaffected from the Church for many years and would embarrass the Church, and he is holding it for an appropriate time to do so.”  He suggested that we follow up on this.  I telephone Everett Cooley.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Monday, 18 December 1972]

At lunch today Davis Bitton told me that he feels certain that there is a John Taylor diary.  Brother Gordon Affleck of Church Purchasing told him of his experience on this matter.  Before World War II J. Reuben Clark III was writing a doctoral dissertation somewhere on some aspect of the Church’s presence in France.  He realized the importance of President Taylor’s service as a missionary in France and asked if there were not a diary of John Taylor that he could use.  According to Brother Affleck, Brother Clark was given access to John Taylor’s journal through the intervention of his father, President J. Reuben Clark.  He took some notes from the journal during a period when he had time available and [illegible] World War II. 

After the war, he came back to finish his dissertation, came to the Church offices, and asked to see again the journals of John Taylor.  He was told by Clare Middlemiss or Joseph Anderson that this diary had been checked out by President McKay and was not available. He asked later—still check out to President McKay, asked again—still checked out. He had to get his dissertation in, so he went ahead without it.

Davis was discussing this matter with Brother Affleck, who was so close to President Clark that he is one of the administrators of the Clark estate.  Brother Affleck told him this, and Brother Bitton asked him if he would try to see where the Taylor diary was.  Brother Affleck reported to him that they had asked the McKay family and they professed to know nothing about it—not to have it among their materials.  This leaves just two possibilities—that it is in the possession of Clare Middlemiss or in the vault of the First Presidency.

At any rate, this story told directly to Davis by Brother Affleck suggests that there is the journal and that it is somewhere in the possession of the Church or the Church people.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Monday, 18 December 1972]


4.  Truman (Madsen) also mentioned he had heard about the introduction in the Quorum of the Twelve in the late 20s or early 30s about eliminating the wearing of temple garments outside the temple.  As I recall he said that he got the story from the wife of Melvin J. Ballard.  I have heard a similar story from Alice Smith (Mrs. W. W.)  The story is that the Quorum of the Twelve after long debate and prayerful consideration finally decided, in the late 20s or early 30s, to not encourage the wearing of temple garments except in the temple.  The context in which I heard it was that the temple garments at that time were not suitable for wearing by the sisters, considering the fashions of the times, and the wives of the Twelve were overwhelmingly in favor of it.  After a decision had been reached, Joseph Fielding Smith, according to the story, felt disturbed about the decision and was impressed during the night to ask for another meeting of the Twelve and to tell them that he was impressed that the decision was wrong.  His influence was apparently sufficient that the decision was reversed, but because of the criticism of the matter of temple garments, active steps were made to design a garment, which would be more appropriate for women to wear, and of course those have been made available in years since them.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Monday, 15 January 1973]


In our meeting this morning Elder Anderson said that Brother B. H. Roberts tended to be loquacious in his sermons and conference addresses.  It took him a good deal of time to build up to the eloquence of which he was capable.  Because it was so difficult for him to give a talk that was less than an hour in length, President Grant in arranging general conference sessions was in a dilemma.  On the one hand, Brother Robert’s address was usually a high point of any conference.  On the other hand if he spoke he usually took so much time that several of the other brethren were excluded.

President Grant finally solved this problem by putting Brother Roberts last, just 15 or 20 minutes before the conference concluded.  This was a sore trial to Brother Roberts who needed more time but it assured that the other brethren would have an opportunity to speak.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Thursday, 17 January 1973]


In our regular executives meeting this morning, Elder Joseph Anderson mentioned two stories about President Grant that should be recorded.  The first is that President Grant was a young boy at the time of the Morrisite difficulty and got up on the top of his house to see them bringing the Morrisites into Salt Lake City.  He was curious to see them brought in because he had been told that they were bringing the Morrisites in without arms, and he was curious to see just what they would look like.

The second story says that President Heber J. Grant’s mother had been asked for by the Prophet Joseph Smith to be a plural wife.  Before any marriage or sealing was consummated, the Prophet Joseph Smith died.  Since several of the brethren knew of this desire on the part of the Prophet to have her as a wife, and since she had been agreeable to that, the Quorum of the Twelve treated her much like the other plural wives of the Prophet.  It was a strong desire on their part to have his plural widows raise up children to the Prophet, which would belong to him in the next life.  They asked her who she would like for a husband, and she said Jedediah M. Grant, and so she was married to him for time, with the understanding that she would be sealed to the Prophet and their children belong to the Prophet.  This meant that Heber J. Grant was in a theological and eternal sense a son of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and this helps to explain the particular solicitude of the General Authorities for him as he was growing up and his very early appointment as President of the Tooele Stake and very soon thereafter as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Tuesday, 23 January 1973]

Dick Poll and Gene Campbell were in the office yesterday.  Said they heard that President Brown was taken into the First Presidency to provide balance against President Moyle.  President Moyle, according to the tale, had kept President McKay and the other counselor buffaloed.  President Moyle died a heartbroken man in the sense that all his responsibilities were pretty well taken from him before his death.  Disapproval of the intensive missionary methods, which he had fostered—revulsion with the paper baptisms, softball baptisms caused the missionary system to be taken away from his direction.  The scandals of the building program and administration of Wendell Mendenhall caused the building program to be taken away.  Objection to his borrowing for purposes of building caused his direction over the financial affairs of the church to be taken from him.

Had dinner with Dick Isaacson, son of Thorpe B. Isaacson and he made statements, which bear out the latter.  According to his understanding, his father was in the East for some purpose and had a conversation with a noted New York banker.  He said, “Too bad about your marvelous president, David McKay.  He will soon be presiding over a bankrupt organization.”  When asked to explain, he said the Church had borrowed large sums from New York banks and instead of “paying up” was borrowing more.  Rather than completing his trip, Thorpe hurried back to Salt Lake City to tell the story to President McKay.  The latter called in Brother Moyle and they apparently had quite a set-to.  According to Dick, Brother Isaacson was then put in the First Presidency with the responsibility of handling this problem.  The construction of the 30-story Church Office Building was held up, the building program of the Church was suspended, the debts were paid off, and all building held up until the money was available to pay for them without borrowing.  This was the main contribution of Elder Isaacson, according to his son.  He says that Elder Harold B. Lee was one of the primary backers of the more conservative financial policy.  I suppose that when President Tanner was brought in, this was his primary responsibility.


[LJAD, LJA Diary, Saturday, 27 January 1973]

Mike came in to tell me this morning that he had made an appointment with Melvin R. Ballard (son of Melvin J.) about the possibility of acquiring the Melvin J. Ballard diaries that are referred to in Bryant S. Hinckley’s biography.  Brother Ballard told Mike the following story as related by his mother, who is now dead.

After Brother Melvin J. Ballard died, President Grant asked Bryant S. Hinckley, an employee of the Church, to write a biography of Apostle Ballard.  President Grant further asked Sister Ballard, his widow, to lend the Ballard diaries to Brother Hinckley for the purpose of writing the biography.  This consisted of some 25 to 30 volumes.  Sister Ballard agreed to do this.

When Brother Hinckley finished the manuscript of the biography he went to Sister Ballard and asked for $1,000 for writing the biography.  Sister Ballard said that the writing of the biography was President Grant’s idea, not hers, and anyway she was receiving only $50 a month from the Church and had no money to pay him.  He returned to see her on another occasion as the book was being printed by Deseret Book and said that he would accept $500 if she would pay him.  Again she said that she was under no obligation to do so—that it was not her idea and anyway she didn’t have the money.  He seemed angry at her refusal to pay him.

Later she never did receive back the copies of Brother Ballard’s diaries.  She asked President Grant to see about getting the journals for her, and he said he would.  She heard nothing and soon President Grant died.  Later Brother Bryant Hinckley died, and then Sister Ballard.

Recalling all of this, Brother Melvin R. Ballard, some time after his mother’s death, went to Brother Gordon Hinckley and asked him if he had the diaries of Brother Ballard.  He said that he did not have them, have never seen them and had never heard anything about them.  He suggested that Brother Ballard go to his sister Christine H. Robinson (Sister Preston Robinson) who was the administrator of Brother Bryant Hinckley’s estate.  According to Brother Ballard, she told him that she didn’t know anything about it and they were not in his estate.

I asked Brother Anderson in our meeting this morning if they were in the vault of the First Presidency.  He said they definitely were not, had never been, and he knew nothing about them.  Earl said, could they be in the safe of President Joseph Fielding Smith?  Brother Anderson said yes, they might be, but he didn’t see any reason why they would be there.  Earl said that he thought they must be somewhere in the Hinckley family.  Brother Anderson said that he would keep it in mind and see if we could locate them.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Tuesday, 13 February 1973]

Brother [Joseph] Anderson says the Fundamentalists said that President Grant told the Knife and Fork Club in Kansas City that he had never received any revelations.  Brother Anderson says he may have made such a statement but that he had personal knowledge that President Grant had received a manifestation, which he [Brother Anderson] would call a revelation.  President Grant had told him many times about the circumstances in which the Twelve had agreed and President Grant was prepared to present to the conference Richard W. Young as an apostle.  When he went to the Lord on the matter just before conference, he asked the Lord to signify whether this was an appointment which he, the Lord, desired, and the name of Melvin J. Ballard kept flashing before him as the name desired by the Lord.  With great reluctance (Richard W. Young had been his best friend for many years), President Grant presented the name of Melvin J. Ballard.  This, said Brother Anderson, was clearly a revelation.

I asked Brother Anderson whether President Grant‘s family had remained faithful to the Church.  He did not discuss each but mentioned one daughter who clearly left the Church and joined the Episcopalians in Pasadena.  She became the wife of Isaac Blair Evans.   He also had been brought up in a fine loyal family, but the two of them for social reasons had left the Church and associated with the Episcopalians in Pasadena.  Nevertheless, President Grant stayed with her when he went to Southern California, wrote her many letters, and was always in close contact with her so that there was no bitterness or feud between them.

Brother Anderson said that all of the McKay family had been more or less active in the Church.  The only one that had been less than fully active was Lewellyn McKay, Professor of Languages, at the University of Utah.  Brother Anderson said that he guessed he had become too educated to be a good loyal Church member.  His views were pretty liberal.


[LJAD, LJA Diary, Thursday, 15 February 1973]

David Evans of David Evans Advertising telephoned and said that yesterday he had found in their old family home, which heretofore had been under the care of his maiden sister, an eccentric who has now been placed under guardianship, a number of items important in Church history.

His grandfather, David Woolley Evans, for a period of ten years or so was an official Church recorder.  He had grown up in England, learned Pittman shorthand, and in 1862 took over the reporting of authoritative discourses from George Watt.

David Evan found 35 notebooks—all in a good state of preservation, full of the original shorthand transcriptions found in the Journal of Discourses.  A cursory examination of these indicates that there are some sermons, he reports, which were not published in the Journal of Discourses, also that some of the sermons published may have been wrongly credited.  For example, one of the sermons attributed in the Journal of Discourses to Orson Pratt is really the sermon of Orson Hyde.

He also found thirteen volumes of shorthand manuals published from 1854 and succeeding years.  He also found a book signed by George D. Watt in 1862 and given to David W. Evans—probably on the occasion of him taking over from Brother Watt.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Tuesday, 20 February 1973]

This morning I saw in the vault a box with a notation “Life Story of B. H. Roberts.”  Along with three loose-leaf folders was a letter of transmittal from President Harold B. Lee in which he said that he had received the document from Truman Madsen and that it was now placed with the Historical Department and that it would be made available under such restrictions as might seem desirable and wise.

The life story has many penciled corrections by President Roberts.  It is an original type copy.  I compared this copy with the Xerox that I have which I had obtained several years ago from Professor Richard Roberts of Weber State College.  I discovered that my copy was typed from the copy now in the vault—that my copy incorporates the penciled changes made by President Roberts.  There appears to be no omissions or additions.  That it was typed from this copy is indisputable since every single little pencil mark has been incorporated.  The essential difference is that my version is single spaced where the other is double-spaced. There would appear to be a few instances in which the typist has created new paragraphs that were not in the original or has failed to paragraph an item that was marked in the original.  Because the family has many copies of the one which I Xeroxed, which was mimeographed, I see no reason why this copy should be restricted.  Certainly it should not be restricted so far as our staff are concerned.  I placed a signed notation to that effect in the box, which is in the vault.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Friday, 23 February 1973]

Ernest Wilkinson telephoned from Provo to say that John Talmage had loaned to the BYU History Project the diaries of James E. Talmage covering the period when he began in the 1870s to 1904 when he resigned from the University of Utah.  They do not have permission to reproduce the diaries yet, but they do have permission to copy out quotations relevant to the history.  President Wilkinson hopes that before he gives the diaries back that he can get permission to have a copy made of the diaries.

Dr. Wilkinson said that they had received as a permanent gift the four huge journals of David John.  David John was a counselor in the stake presidency to A. O. Smoot and succeeded Smoot as stake president.  He is reported to have had the best library in Provo and to have been the leading intellectual in Utah Valley.  The reading of his diary, said Dr. Wilkinson, supports the fact that this was true.  It is the most beautiful diary he has ever seen, in addition to being the most complete and interesting—well written and organized and full entries.

Dr. Wilkinson was particularly interested in list page after page of all the Latter-day Saint leaders in Utah penitentiary giving details of their confinement and so on.  He said he looked over the list pretty carefully but didn’t see his own name.

He suggests that when they have finished with the BYU history, the volumes would then be made available to us for study—and he was certain we would get much from reading it.


[LJAD, LJA Diary, Monday, 26 February 1973]

Just before I gave the talk at Menlo Park Friday night, Ross and I happened by chance to meet Brother and Sister Whitney Groo and had a hamburger with them.  Brother Groo, I discovered, is the person who had donated the Newell K. Whitney papers to the BYU Library.  He said the reason for the new story on the Whitney papers is that he had contributed some additional papers just recently.

He is descended from Isaac Groo and on his mother’s side Newell K. Whitney.  His personal story is quite interesting.  He had been brought up as a non-Mormon and was a mild variety of anti-Mormon.  He was one of those who believed the story of Brigham Young and the Danites.  He had polio, and while he was recovering approximately three or four years ago, he had a visitation from the Lord—visitation that occurred three times in one night.  In this visitation the Lord told him he must join the Church and become active.  The experience so moved him that he did so immediately thereafter.  I gather that his wife has been a Mormon all along.

We had a pleasant conversation, and he seems to be a happy person.  Ross knew him and said he was the author of the pageant, which is presented at the Oakland Temple each summer.  Ross says that it is an outstanding pageant.  He enjoys writing.  I encouraged him to write up his own story and sent it to our office.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Monday, 5 March 1973]

Last night I spoke to a study group in the apartment of Bert Curtis on the ninth floor of the Canyon Crest condominium.  In the study group were Brother and Sister George Nelson.  He is formerly president of Monument Park Stake and a prominent attorney in Salt Lake City now retired.  He lives in Oak Crest Lodge.  Also Brother and Sister Derrick.  He is a brother of Royden and Margaret Lester and the brother of the President Derrick in James’ stake in San Francisco.  As I recall, he lives on the 14th floor of Canyon Crest.  Also Roland Kaiser who married Elizabeth Evans, the sister of Richard L. and David W. Evans.  He has published an autobiography, which I gave him the money for, and he is to send me this week.  He is a former official of International Harvester.  He was assigned by them to Salt Lake City, spent nine years here during which he and Elizabeth fell in love, then went to Argentina for nine years, then to Peru, then I think became ambassador to Peru during World War II, then back to Chicago, and upon his retirement at the request of Elizabeth moved to Salt Lake City.  She is now dead, and he lives in a bachelor apartment on the 14th floor of Canyon Crest.  Her is a short, heavy set, jovial person.

Perhaps Brother Kaiser describes all of this in his book, but he mentioned briefly how he happened to join the Church.  When he and Elizabeth fell in love, she was very discouraged because he wasn’t LDS, wouldn’t promise to join for her sake.  Yet she loved him.  Various friends of hers advised her to drop him—not to marry outside the Church, but she couldn’t bring herself to do this.  One day she was in a family group with her Aunt Zina Card.  Aunt Zina noted that she did not seem her usual bubbly self.  She asked her why she was sad, and she told her something about her relations with Roland.  Aunt Zina invited her to her apartment to talk about it in detail, which she did.  After a long talk, Aunt Zina told Elizabeth, “I am going to tell you something that I have never told another girl—that you should go ahead and marry Roland even if he is not a member.  You are strong in the faith, and he respects you for it.  I seem impressed to promise you that if you will live faithfully, devoutly, and honorable, he will join the Church and he will do so without any urging from you.”

From that point on she was happy.  They married and she went with him to Argentina.  While there he became acquainted with J. Reuben Clark, Jr., and it was partly through the influence of J. Reuben Clark, Jr. that he became seriously interested in Mormonism—not that President Clark preached to him or proselyted him, but his answers to Roland’s questions were meaningful and satisfactory.  After Roland and Elizabeth had been in Argentina several years, Roland came to the states on business and went in to see President Clark, then in the First Presidency’s office, and said to him, “President Clark, I have decided to become a Mormon and would like to have you baptize me.”  President Clark looked at him with those penetrating blue eyes in a most sober manner and delayed answering for many seconds and then said, “I am not sure we want you.  You know what will happen don’t you?  You are a high Mason—your Masonic friends will come to you and argue with you, plead with you, tell you how stupid you are and so on.  They will try to influence you not to join or if you have joined, try to influence you to drop it.”  President Clark then asked, “What will you do?”  Brother Kaiser looked at him and said firmly, “I’ll tell them to go straight to hell.”  President Clark leaned back and laughed heartily and said, “I am not laughing at you Brother Kaiser.  I am laughing because I know you really mean it.”  President Clark then set a time the next morning to baptize him and did so.  President Clark told him that he was the first person that he had ever baptized.  This astounded Brother Kaiser that this member of the First Presidency had never before baptized anybody. 

Near the end of President Clark’s life, Brother Kaiser paid a courtesy call on him.  He was sitting in his apartment with a blanket wrapped around him.  They reminisced a little, and Brother Kaiser said, “Do you remember, President Clark, your telling me that I was the first person you had ever baptized?  How many others have you baptized since?”  President Clark said that he had not baptized any—that Brother Kaiser was the only person that he had ever baptized into the Church.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Monday, 19 March 1973]

Today at Rotary Jack Kelly, a Salt Lake native and President of Western Airlines, spoke.  He was once in charge of the Salt Lake Airport for the municipality of Salt Lake City.  He recalls that Harold B. Lee was one of the commissioners and describes him as being a very frugal person who always kept a tomato can with $100,000 in it.

He remembers one time when he invited members of the Quorum of Twelve to take an air tour of Utah including the parks and so on.  Ten of the twelve apostles went.  When he returned he was ordered by President Grant to come to the latter’s office.  President Grant’s gray beard bristled.  He was angry and told Jack what a dangerous thing it was to take ten of the apostles in such a dangerous flying contraption.  As penance, he asked him to take to Los Angeles the model of the seagull to advertise a Church conference.  He also had to carry it back.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Tuesday, 20 March 1973]

In Juanita Brook’s presentation Friday night, she said she thought there were more posterity of John D. Lee active in the Church than the posterity of any other single individual, and she gave lots of examples.  A great deal was said that evening about John D. Lee and the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Juanita Brooks said that in 1905 President Joseph F. Smith asked each of the seven survivors of those who participated in the Mountain Meadows Massacre to send to him a written account of what had happened.  In charge of contacting these persons and getting their written statements was D. H. Morris.  The seven statements were delivered to President Smith.  Juanita was told that these statements existed by Brother Morris or perhaps his daughter Helen.  When she was well along on the book on the Mountain Meadows Massacre she went to the Church offices to ask if she might look at them. She was referred to Brother Joseph Anderson.  Brother Joseph Anderson suggested that she come back the next day.  When she went back, Brother Anderson told her that she could not see these materials.  I am not just sure how this happened, but she made an appeal to see them again, I think through George Albert Smith, who seemed to be favorable to her project of writing up the story of MMM.  In some way she got an appointment with President Clark and when she went in to see him the seven statements were right there on his desk where she could see them, and he indicated them but he told her she could not see them.  I presume these statements are now in the vault of the First Presidency.  According to what she says, Brother Joseph Anderson knows of their existence, so I shall be asking Brother Anderson something about them to see if he is willing to concede that they are there.

Juanita Brooks says that she received a patriarchal blessing in September 1919 from Nephi Johnson then a patriarch in Moapa Stake.  She wants me to look up that blessing and obtain a Xerox of it for her.  She wrote it in her own handwriting and she is interested in finding out what kind of handwriting she had in 1919.  I told her I would see what I could do.

Juanita said that two of the participants in the MMM, I think Higbee and Haight—perhaps Dame, had just shortly before been given patriarchal blessings which specifically said that they would have the opportunity of avenging the blood of the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum and that the Lord would strengthen their hand to have the courage to carry out the vengeance.  She thinks that this explicit reference in their patriarchal blessings may have been one of the factors, which overcame their revulsion and let them to do the horrible deed, which they performed at Mountain Meadows.  She thinks it is possible that various other participants in the massacre had been given patriarchal blessings by the same person and perhaps their blessings contained similar statements.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Monday, 26 March 1973]

I asked Brother Anderson if he knew why Emily Smith Stewart had given the University of Utah the materials of her father, George Albert Smith.  He said that there was not a good feeling on the part of Emily for President McKay.  This went back to a controversy in the Primary.  Sister Stewart and Sister Riley were members of the General Board of the Primary.  May Anderson was President.  President McKay, not president of the Church, was an advisor to the Primary.  Emily was a very aggressive woman—one of the most aggressive Brother Anderson had ever known.  She got into a controversy with May Anderson which became so hot that President McKay as advisor had to decide whether to support May Anderson or Sister Stewart.  He supported May Anderson, and Sister Stewart and Sister Riley were taken off of the Board.  From that time Emily Stewart had hatred for May Anderson and also for President McKay.  For that reason she had a spirit of revenge and perhaps also money making at the expense of the Church, and therefore gave her father’s papers to the University of Utah.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Tuesday, 22 May 1973]

I might just end with three stories that I found in our archives that helped to illustrate some present points of view.  One of them is that I think it’s been a great mistake for me to try to do too many things at once, I found a story which illustrates that this also afflicts our highest ecclesiastical authorities.  Brigham Young told this story to a group of bishops:

A boy came in one day from a farm and said, “Dad, I’ve just set that hen.”  “How many eggs did you put under her, son?”  “Thirty.”  “I know Bill but she can’t cover that many eggs”  “I know she can’t,” replied the boy, “but I like to see the darn fool spread herself.”

Well, Brigham Young was trying to tell the bishops not to “spread” themselves too far and not to take themselves too seriously.  That’s some advice that I need right now.

A second thing, I was just reading Jack Adamson’s biography of Sir Walter Raleigh.  Sir Walter Raleigh, in his history of the world, said:  “The industrious scholar bars his doors and windows and shuts himself up in his room that he may bequeath to future ages his views on the primitive church or Egyptian dynasties.  His works too often go to swell the dust heap of learning.  And what is passing on the street, on the other side of his shutter, is what future ages will really desire to know.”  So that’s a bit of advice I’m taking seriously now.  I’m trying to get down things that are happening now. So, if you come in my office and have an interesting story to tell, you’ll probably see my secretary click on a tape recorder.

The third advice to myself is the importance of remembering that greatness is achieved by doing all the pick-and-shovel work that’s connected with writing.  I derive inspiration from a story that I found just recently.  Elias Morris was a brick mason. He was asked by Wilford Woodruff to come down and build him a chimney.  Elias Morris said to Wilford Woodruff, “Now, you must have a hod carrier ready to bring the brick and mortar to me on the roof of the building as I work.”  Elias Morris raised his scalpel, mortarboard, etc., and was ready to proceed.  He called back to President Woodruff that he was now ready.  He looked down a minute or two and spied the hod carrier.  It was Wilford Woodruff, President of the Church, straining under 150 pound of brick, and coming up the ladder—the man responsible for more converts to the Church than any other man in Church history.

So, if we are going to achieve, we have to do all the commonplace things that are necessary to achieve.

[LJAD, talk given by LJA to the League of Utah Writers at the Provo Library, 23 May 1973]


When I was at the meeting last Wednesday with President Wilkinson and the BYU History Committee, I learned two things, which are not going into the history but should be somewhere recorded.

The first is that Warren Dusenberry, who was a leader of the Brigham Young Academy in the 19th century, was murdered by his demented son in California something like ten or fifteen years after he left Provo.  His son apparently chopped him to death with an axe.

The other is with respect to President George H. Brimhall who was retired, I think, in the 1920s.  After retirement President Brimhall became more and more senile and several years after his retirement committed suicide by attaching a shotgun to his bed and pulling the trigger, which killed him, with his toe.

Apparently both of these facts are known by a few people in the Provo community, but they are not generally known, and President Wilkinson and I agreed that there is no reason why either of these two facts need to be mentioned in the BYU history since it has no bearing on that history.

I wonder if that problem of President Brimhall might account for some of the emotional problems of President Brimhall’s daughter, Mrs. Fawn Brimhall McKay, which in turn might have had an influence on her daughter Fawn McKay Brodie.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Friday, 1 June 1973]

When Harold Jenson was a missionary he met a millionaire who had invited him to his home in order to answer the question of why he couldn’t get into our temples.  Brother Jenson and he talked until 3:00 in the morning.  The next morning when they went into the garden, Brother Jenson expressed a desire to have such a garden and the millionaire said he worked his entire life to make it possible.  Then Brother Jenson said that he had worked his whole like so that he could go into the temple   He had made his point and was given a motorcycle to help him on his mission.

The Jensons went up to visit Brigham Young’s grave.  Martha said that Brigham Young was buried upside down “so you Gentiles could kiss hiss ass without turning him over.”

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Friday, 8 June 1973]


Davis was in this afternoon and is a good friend of Myra Carrington, granddaughter of Albert Carrington.  It appears that Albert’s wife, Rhoda Carrington, was very large and obese (300 pounds).  Albert had difficulty getting stockings for her because her foot was so small and her leg was so large.  He couldn’t get a chair, which was comfortable for her, which she didn’t break, so finally he employed a carpenter to come and make a custom-made chair for her that would be both large enough and strong enough to hold her.

The carpenter needed to have some measurements.  She was shy and self-conscience about her weight and didn’t want him to measure her.  Finally they devised a stratagem. She would go outside and sit down in the snow bank and then he would go out and measure it.  That was done and she had the chair for her life and it came down through the family.

Just recently within the past few years, this chair was donated to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.  Since its donation, it has never been exhibited, and when the family have gone to the museum, they have been told they never received it or it has been lost.  They wonder where it is.

Myra says that her grandfather wrote charming letters to his sons and grandsons—letters which were appropriate to their age and understanding—letters which they still preserve.  She still has many of these letters, and Davis is trying to persuade her to give them to us.  She rather hopes perhaps the information was wrong which led to his excommunication.  

She thinks he was such a wonderful man that he couldn’t have done anything to deserve it.  Of course, Davis and I have both reviewed his file and know all the circumstances, but we need not confess everything that we know about it.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Friday, 15 June 1973]

In our executives meeting yesterday Earl discussed plans for the retreat of our executives on July 31 and August 1.  We decided to have the retreat in Treasure Mountain Lodge in Park City.  Earl had raised the question of having separate beds or double beds where two fellows would sleep on one bed.  When he had to make a decision on that, Brother Anderson said that that reminded him of what J. Golden Kimball had said—that he would rather sleep with a wet dog than with another man in bed.

[LJAD, LJA Diary, Wednesday, 27 June 1973]

Yesterday I drove to Provo to meet with a seminar conducted by Dean Lorin Wheelwright of the College of Fine Arts and Communications at BYU. Present were the Assistant Dean and heads of the various departments in the college.

Dean Wheelwright has been appointed head of the BYU Centennial Celebrations which will be held in 1976, and so he has resigned as dean. He will be in charge of providing dramas, poems, books, musicals, and other events connected with the centennial year. No replacement for him has yet been announced. I spent a pleasant two hours with this group talking to them about arts in the history of the Church.

I then drove out to Elaine Hayfield’s place to pick up LeRuth Tyau, who has come to the mainland for the first time in six years to visit with her mother and sister, and Callie is 81 years old, and LeRuth wanted to have a good visit with her before she dies. I drove LeRuth back to the office and Chris showed her around while I went to see Mason Smith about the First Security history. I remained with him approximately an hour and a half. I returned for a brief meeting with Jim and Davis and then went home with Carl and LeRuth.

LeRuth remained the night with us. She was going to visit today with her various half brothers that live in the Salt Lake region.

With Carl, James, Grace, and myself present LeRuth told us her life story, which was very interesting. Having been born and having grown up in Declow, Idaho, a little country village of a few dozen families, she came with her parents and Elaine to Logan when she was about 12. Her father was a somewhat dogmatic, opinionated, and uncompromising patriarch. LeRuth was very intelligent and sensitive and found a gap between the teachings as they came from the lips of her mother and teachers and the practice. She was somewhat rebellious and free thinking.

When she was 17 she had a date with an older person who raped her and neither she nor her family could share this with anybody else. She felt a strong burden of guilt, and her parents’ attitudes increased that burden rather than reducing it. They were neither understanding nor warm. It was on the one hand a punishment for her free thinking and sinfulness. On the other hand it was a natural result of these, in their view. LeRuth somewhat counteracted her burden so far as the external world was concerned by adopting a free and easy going manner and a superficial happiness, but inside she felt tormented. One avenue of expression was her art.

She eventually ended up at BYU and married Elmer. This was a manifestation of her rebelliousness and perhaps self punishment. Her early years with Elmer were not happy except in a superficial sense. He was different culturally, intellectually, physically, and racially. Even her having of children so rapidly was to some extent perhaps self punishment. Again, outlet in the form of art.

The move to Honolulu was good for her. She and Elmer became happier. She was farther away from relatives and friends and her native culture and she began to cultivate and develop her own personality. She went through periods of activity in the church. There would be a year of highest activity and a year or two of low activity. The same with Elmer.

When her baby Jaqueline was born somewhat prematurely and born with pneumonia, the doctors all said she would die. LeRuth went through a genuine religious experience. She says she felt despair and emotionally depressed and for the first time admitting the possibility that there might not be a God. She went into a private room and sat down to cry and to say somewhat matter-of-factly, “If there is anyone out there, let him speak to me.” She engaged for the first time, as she expresses it, in real earnest desperate prayer.

She did acquire a realization that God was there and that he was loving and kind and interested in her welfare. This emotional experience was buttressed in the days that followed, and they are connected with her discovery somewhat accidentally of the book of Urantia. That book in itself was a revelation to her in a literal sense. She read it over a series of weeks as if in one sitting hardly wanting to take time out to eat, sleep, and be with her family. The book has ever since been a previous source of inspiration to her. She regards it as though it was written for her and for other earthly being prepared to receive it. She regards it as completely consistent with Mormonism helping to support the theology and organization of the Church and not in any sense in conflict with the theology and organization of the Church.

All of this occurred about 1966, and I recall that when she came to the mainland last when her father died, she had just been introduced to the Urantia book and she was filled with it, and she shared it with me. It is something she regarded as her private and sacred religious experience, and she has not shared these experiences with any others of her relatives–her mother or father or family. I gather last night was the first recitation that she had ever made of these experiences to any persons, and we felt privileged to have her share them with us.

LeRuth is a very warn, sensitive, and intelligent person. I have myself spent some hours reading the Urantia book and it does absolutely nothing for me. It is a hodge-podge and just words, but obviously it does something for LeRuth and that is enough justification.

This is probably the only time we shall see LeRuth while she is here. She will be returning about the 16th and we are not returning from our trip to Idaho until the 23rd. 

Carl and James enjoyed very much her sharing of her life and thoughts with us. They like her very much. LeRuth is very much interested in world religions and what they have to contribute and the things we have in common with them, and she has been taking classes in world religions at the University of Hawaii. She has been reading a great deal in the various religions of the world and knows a great deal about them and also knows members of these faiths and has shared some of her experiences and beliefs with them.

Her conversion which you might say occurred in 1966 has gradually changed her relationships with Elmer and even within the last year her marriage has become a pleasure of companionship. Her children are all basically receptive to her spirituality with the exception of Jennifer, who seems not to be receptive to it at all. She is staunchly active in her ward and stake, has served as a seminary teacher and sees Elmer becoming more active.

Incidentally, LeRuth has formed a few friendships with other sensitive people who have been reading and influenced by the Urantia book–mostly non-LDS. One of these is Duffie St. Marie, who lives in Hawaii and has become more and more a spiritual person. 

[LJA Diary, 6 Jul., 1973]

Today, a person in a position to know told me something of the relationships between President Clark and President McKay-or perhaps, more accurately, the relationships between their secretaries, Rowena Miller and Claire Middlemiss. President Clark and President McKay were gentlemen, and behaved as such, although they often disagreed both on policy and procedure. Their secretaries, whether reflecting the true attitudes and prejudices of the men of an exaggeration of the same, could hardly deal with each other rationally. Claire was so protective of President McKay that she even went so far as to prevent certain members of the Quorum of the Twelve from seeing him or having access to him, permitting it however to others. I personally can be quite impassionate with these two. If I ever met either of them, I do not remember it. And yet I must have–I must have seen Rowena when I went to see Ed Lyon at Nauvoo Restoration, tho I do not recall being introduced to her or what she looks like. I must have seen Claire when I went with the USU Stake Presidency to see President McKay, but do not recall anyone introducing her or what she looks like. I do not recall ever seeing a sign on a desk with either name. Unfortunately, persons that important might suppose that everyone knows who they are and don’t introduce themselves. This is one reason that I try to make a big point of introducing everyone who visits me to Chris Croft. Nobody should leave my office without having been formally introduced to her-unless, of course, she is away on an errand. 

My friend says Claire told him that she was fired the day after President McKay’s funeral, and was very bitter about it. Bitter especially against Presidents Lee and Tanner. She says she left, in the vault in the basement just below her office, 80 volumes of President McKay’s diary, all annotated, indexed, etc., and 130 scrapbooks of clippings, also indexed and annotated. Presumably they are still in the vault. She has had nothing to do with any of these records since that time, she says. Obviously, somebody knew she was jealous of President McKay and didn’t want her around to afflict his successor.

[LJA Diary, 7 Jul., 1973]

En route to Salzburg.

Eldred G. Smith says President Grant took away all rights of patriarch to preside over the other patriarchs. He has nothing to do with them—not notified. No quorum. Says this is not consistent with Doctrine & Covenants nor with Church history and traditions. Says Heber J. took away after death of Hyrum G., who is father of Eldred G. The Twelve are jealous of their prerogatives. Says he would talk to me about this. Also about flag he has which Mormon Battalion brought west. Think I’ll send him a copy of Mike’s piece on patriarchs and ask him to tell me if it was true and accurate.

Eldred says he has been in trouble the past 26 years because he insists he presides over other patriarchs and the Twelve won’t let him.

[LJA Diary, 24 Aug., 1973]

Elder Anderson said he and President Grant were eating some pudding some place when President Grant looked up and said, “This pudding tastes like it has liquor in it.” Elder Anderson agreed, but both went on eating and finished it. President Grant said, “Anything that’s hot when it’s cold is not good for you.”

Conference was in Munich

[LJA Diary, 25 Aug., 1973]

This afternoon at 3:00 Earl Olson and I went to the office of President Lee to receive from him the diaries of Samuel H. Smith and Samuel H. B. Smith which had been given to him by J. Winter Smith with instructions “to give them to Leonard Arrington.” We talked in the anteroom with Brother Arthur Haycock, who has known Earl Olson for thirty or forty years, both being employees in the Church office building. Brother Haycock said he started to work as a secretarial assistant to the First Presidency in 1938 on the day that J. Golden Kimball was killed in an automobile accident. He worked for a long time as an assistant to President Clark. He regards President Clark as one of the great intellects in the history of the Church, the nation, and the world. He spoke of him with pride as a man who had a wonderful way with words and had a marvelous capacity of analysis.

Brother Haycock was the personal secretary of George Albert Smith, President McKay, President Joseph Fielding Smith, and now of Harold B. Lee. He said that President Clark had at an earlier period seen the great potentialities of Harold B. Lee and Marion G. Romney and brought them into the circle of Church officials. Both of them felt a very strong attachment to President Clark.

Brother Haycock said that President Clark’s ideas, policies, and expressions are still being used in the Church and especially by these people who knew him well. He also mentioned some Church leader who had brought in President Clark as a kind of secretary at a very early stage. I don’t recall who that was.

The office where President Lee is now was built originally to be the office of the president of the Church. Joseph F. Smith was there and Heber J. Grant was there and George Albert Smith was there. Then President McKay wanted to be in the northwest corner office and place President Clark in the office that Joseph F. Smith had occupied–the one now occupied by President Lee on the northeast corner where Richard L. Evans was located. This was a kind of hide away office for him. The presiding patriarch had always been located in the office on the southwest corner and that had been true until President McKay came in as president. President McKay then told Brother Smith he would have an office on the fourth floor and that that office was to be occupied by Brother Stephen L. Richards. Brother Eldred G. Smith has had difficulty accepting his position. This goes back to the first talk he gave in conference in which he said “I deserved it, I grew up under it, and I should have had a position, and I am now glad that the brethren recognize this is the case.” This is the way his mother brought him up–that he was to take over from his father–that he would take over his father’s office and his father’s position and so on, but when they eliminated the Quorum of Patriarchs and took that out from under his control and when they took him out of the office he became concerned and has been embittered ever since. Moreover he never says much about the patriarchs and their function. Brother Haycock thought that the talk he gave in Munich was the best talk he had ever given in a conference. Brother Haycock said that the person within his experience who had had the most difficulty to fitting into the pattern with the General Authorities was S. Dilworth Young. Many of the early talks that he gave in conference–very few of them got into the printed version in the Improvement Era because of the content and so on. 

After twenty or thirty minutes President Lee ushered out of his office Brother George R. Hill who had been a counselor to many presidents in the east and elsewhere. President Lee introduced us to him and then showed us into his office. He began by saying that he had received a letter from Brother Hill mentioning the various ways in the Church he had served and asked why he was no longer recognized in this way–why he didn’t have an important Church assignment. President Lee had replied to him that maybe he was not called to any positions for his own good–maybe the Lord wanted him to live longer on the earth. President Lee had invited him in to talk it over with him personally. President Lee then turned over to Earl and me the diaries of Samuel H. Smith and Samuel H. B. Smith–rare, beautiful, and important. He then told me that Buddy Youngreen had told him that there were more materials in the possession of Brother Smith–some correspondence that was important. President Lee asked me to write Brother Smith and tell him that President Lee had passed this onto me and asking him to make that available. I told him that I would do so.

Earl and I agreed that we would make a nice Xerox copy, bind it into a presentation copy and send it to Brother Smith and that I should write the letter about the other materials at the time that I send Brother Smith that.

President Lee asked Brother Olson about the Wilford Wood materials. A sister or close relative of his had gone to President Lee and emphasized how important it was that the Church acquire this material because there were materials that could damage the Church if they got into the hands of enemies of the Church. President Lee had asked her to work out an arrangement to give them to the Church and she had tentatively assented but then she backed out after she had thought it over. Earl said that we had microfilmed what she had.

President Lee seems to be interested in all of these acquisitions. He talked a little about the George Albert Smith papers and the unfortunate (to the family) manner in which one of the daughters of George Albert Smith had sold the papers to the University of Utah for something like $25,000. He said the same thing nearly occurred with the papers of President McKay. He thought it was important to get the Church’s oar in before the papers were disbursed, and so he mentioned to the family the day after President McKay died the importance of turning the papers over to the Church. The family did turn over much. Some other papers were taken by the family to Huntsville and they are there in the basement of the McKay home. They could very easily be stolen, or tampered with or burned or flooded. President McKay’s son talked to Lauritz about them and Lauritz said, “Wait until he comes back from his mission,” so we must take that up with him when he returns. President Lee thinks he will turn over the entire load to us. At one stage Clare Middlemiss thought that these scrapbooks and histories and diaries belonged to her because she compiled them. Earl said, “Is that proper that when a person does something on Church time, using Church facilities, Church money in the office as a part of her job, does she or he own them?” President Lee said he thought that Clare Middlemiss had a less intense interest in these things than she had once had. We have now got to find out how we can get access to these papers so that they can be used by the writers of our sesquicentennial and one-volume histories. 

[LJA Diary, 21 Sept., 1973]

Brother Anderson mentioned two stories connected with John W. Taylor, both told to Brother Anderson by President Heber J. Grant. There was a testimony meeting in which one sister got up and spoke in tongues and when the interpretation was made the message was that someone in the audience had seen the Savior the day before in the canyon and it would be a favor if he stood and confessed this. Brother John W. Taylor then stood up and then said he had seen the Savior when he had gone to get wood the day before.

The other story is that when President Grant, then an apostle, was called to be president of the Japanese Mission, Elder John W. Taylor came up to him after the meeting in which the announcement was made and said, “Heber, I know that in accepting this call you have made a sacrifice almost as great as Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac on the altar. I know that you have a standing debt of $100,000, but I prophecy that you will go to Japan and that by the time you go you will have adjusted your affairs so that you are no longer in debt. I not only prophesy this but I am going to tell you how to do it.” And then he proceeded to tell him what to do and the main thing was to do certain things for that day and not worry about the eventual outcome.

[LJA Diary, 26 Sept., 1973]

In our meeting this morning with Elder Anderson, we had very little business to discuss so Brother Anderson spent half an hour or more telling us stories about President Grant. They are marvelous stories, most of which are not in his book Presidents I Have Known. I asked Earl afterwards to save the tape. He said he would do so, so there will be available these stories on tape in the archives.

[LJA Diary, 15 Nov., 1973]

Dr. Warr told some interesting things about Reed Benson while he was fixing my teeth. He was a companion to Reed in the British Mission. He said Reed was like his mother–always looking for an easier way to do things. Tending to take over, wanting to run with the ball, wanting to get it all done and over with. Said Reed had been to BYU, to U of U, and elsewhere. Didn’t know if he had finally graduated. They didn’t appreciate his talents. Reed had gotten into the mission, gone to the mission home, and, as Dr. Warr put it, “interviewed the mission president, Selvoy Boyer.” Mentioned to him that he would be getting a letter telling him that he (Reed) was to go to the International Boy Scout Jamboree in France, and that he was to take this into consideration in making his assignments. Sometime later, Dr. Warr was called to London to go to the Jamboree as the companion of Reed. He was the senior companion. He was then assigned as Reed’s companion for a period after the Jamboree.

Dr. Warr said Reed had heard when he was a student at BYU that when two people sleep together (like missionaries) the smaller and weaker of the two will lose strength and vitality to the stronger of the two. And he thought that he must be losing strength to Dr. Warr, which accounted for his lack of vitality and energy to do all he wanted on his mission. So he proposed to sleep in his sleeping bag next to Dr. Warr so he wouldn’t continue to lose his strength. Dr. Warr told him he wasn’t sleeping next to a sleeping bag. The matter came up to President Boyer who told Dr. Warr to throw it out the window if he persisted in doing it. Dr. Warr was later telling this to one of his relatives who responded, with reference to Reed: “That Elder should have known that it is always the weaker person who draws strength from the stronger!”

Reed was always wanting to do things an easier and better way, and this sometimes involved questions of mission policy and mission rules; so he was a kind of problem for the mission president. Sometime later after their return, when Reed was a student at the U of U and Dr. Warr was practicing in SLC, he met Reed and invited him to Sunday dinner. His wife prepared specially, and Sunday came and they waited and waited. Finally, they called Reed, and was told he had checked out of the Univ. and from his apt. the preceding Friday and had gone to Washington to take a job in the Dept. of Agric. This on the suggestion and arrangement of his mother. He had been a manager of a wig firm in SLC, then an appliance outfit, then this job in Washington, then with John Birch. Always because he thought no job was quite big enough for him and his talents. Now, according to Dr. Warr, at the suggestion of President Lee and other church authorities, he has left John Birch, and is now a full-time seminary teacher in Washington. 

[LJA Diary, 28 Dec., 1973]

Yesterday Grace and I went to the funeral of President Lee. The choir sang beautifully. I was told afterward by someone that the Tuesday night before President Lee’s death on Wednesday the choir had cut some records of President Lee’s favorite hymns to give him as a special Christmas present. A few days later they ware singing those same songs at his funeral. The talks were wonderful. Each of the four speakers-Gordon Hinckley, President Romney, President Tanner, President Kimball, broke down at least once in the course of giving his talk, I suppose because of the sadness of the unexpected death. The shock. The shaken confidence that the Lord would protect him for many years of service. The tabernacle was not filled. I was surprised at this. Perhaps because of Christmastime and guests; perhaps because they knew they could watch it at home on TV; perhaps because they expected huge crowds and didn’t want to go through the hassle. Anyway, at least another thousand could have witnessed the service.

It was announced that President Lee had died of heart and lung failure. At the funeral President Kimball said he had died of heart arrest. Wendell Ashton reported in this morning’s paper that he had died of lung failure. I was told this afternoon that he had a massive heart attack, and they had given him so much oxygen in an attempt to revive him that he was bloated and difficult to make presentable for the viewing. I was told his kidneys were shot, and that this was his basic trouble. I was also told he had been taking ACP pills (pills given during World War II to soldiers with pains) for years and years, which suggests he had a lot of pain. Stomach? Arthritis? Headaches? These pills, I was told, he took regularly and they had about ruined his kidneys. Perhaps the kidney problems contributed to his heart and lung problems. He had not been a healthy man, not a vigorous person, and has often had a poor color. I noted when in Germany that he had a terrible cough, as if he were coughing up phlegm from his lungs.

I was told this afternoon that President Kimball was a traditionalist, very conservative as to doctrine and as to procedures. A prediction was made that he would most likely choose Elders Benson and Petersen, as the senior members of the Quorum after him, to be his counselors. He has great compassion for ordinary persons and their problems, but his approach is that of a traditionalist rather than an innovator.

I was also told that Elder Kimball and Elder Benson were called at the same time. They were notified to go to church headquarters for the interview at about the same time. Elder Kimball happened to arrive just 10 minutes ahead of Elder Benson, and had the first interview. Then Elder Benson. Then their names were presented in that order to the conference, and they were ordained in that order. I was told that he had heard this from Elder Benson himself. This suggests that perhaps Elder Benson feels it was an accident that he followed Elder Kimball in order of seniority. If this story is true, and if Elder Kimball is aware of or sympathetic with this feeling, then perhaps he will choose Elder Benson as a counselor. On the other hand, there will certainly be strong precedent for maintaining the same counselors that President Lee had. We’ll know tomorrow at 10 am.

[LJA Diary, 30 Dec., 1973]

President Kimball said he wanted to emphasize that this was the Lord’s church and that Jesus Christ was the head of the church and that he and his councilors regarded themselves as but earthly helpers of Jesus, the head of the church. He said it was their intention to carry forward the program of President Lee in which they had played a formative role. As with President Lee, he and his councilors were especially interested in several programs:

1. Family and the home.

2. Youth–programs which give youth objectives for living purposeful lives.

3. Missionary work–mentioned 18,000 missionaries in the field. Translations into seventeen languages–that we have the Lord’s commandment to continue this work and to strengthen it.

4. Indian program–President Kimball had always been greatly interested in this. His father had been called in 1882 to be president of the mission in Indian territory. Upon his return, he remained in Salt Lake City only a very brief period during which President Kimball was born and then was called to move to Arizona to be President of the stake there. President Kimball said there are sixty million Indians or Lamanites in this hemisphere. He said they are people who have the best blood in them and that the Church has a special responsibility toward them and a special interest in them.

5. Education–Not only grade school, high school, and university education for youth, but also training people in the various organizations of the Church–the priesthood, the Relief Society, the MIA, the Sunday School.

6. Health–mentioned the continual expansion in the number of health missionaries.

7. Patriotism–emphasized that LDS believe in our country and sustaining its leaders in their righteous endeavors. Emphasized also the same attitude for Saints under other governments.

8. Temple work–described it as being especially valuable for older people to work toward their eternal salvation and the salvation of those who are beyond the veil.

9. Welfare.

President Kimball said that he and his councilors believed in taking a positive approach to the problems of the world and thought the Gospel had the answer to all of the perplexing problems of the world: the divorce problem, the over-emphasis on sex. He said that Latter-day Saints are striving to maintain virtuous lives. 

At the end of these remarks, Brother Ashton then said there would be a few minutes for questions to be directed toward President Kimball. Eight questions were asked by the reporters:

1. Indians. Would there be any change or expansion in the Indian program. President Kimball answered very briefly by saying, “We shall never forget our Lamanite brethren–those in the United States, in Mexico, and elsewhere.

2. Excommunications. Would the Church be tougher in excommunicating persons than President Lee? President Kimball said the policy and practice will remain as it is. There must be some discipline if we are to continue to be the Church of the Lord.

3. Negros and the priesthood. Will there be any change in that policy now or in the future? President Kimball said that this is a matter which depends upon the Lord. We ourselves have not said this policy. We are subject to the revelations of the Lord and if the Lord should dictate a change in this then it will occur.

4. American government. What would be the Church’s response if the government is shown to be more corrupt even than now? President Kimball said, “We believe in sustaining the righteous activities of our leaders whether in this country or elsewhere. This is a blessed land, and we do not expect an increase in corruption and we are teaching our own members to be loyal and true and pure.

5. Health of President Kimball. President Kimball said that he had gone to his doctor who performed the open heart surgery, Dr. Russell Nelson, and asked him to give a medical appraisal of his condition. President Kimball said that he had read Dr. Nelson’s report this morning to the Quorum of the Twelve. He said that the letter indicated that Brother Kimball had been in close touch with him, that he had been under excellent supervision, that he was in excellent health and had done everything possible to preserve his health. President Kimball said, “As for me personally, I feel better than I have felt for twenty years.”

6. Women. Will there be a change in attitude toward women? “Not too abruptly,” answered President Kimball. “We believe that the ideal place for women is in the home. She has a sacred responsibility and privilege to be a partner with God in the creation of children and in bringing them up to be fine persons.”

7. Any new programs? “None yet,” President Kimball answered. There may possibly be new emphases–they may add emphasis and strength to existing programs, but they desire to carry out the fine program which had already been developed by the Quorum of Twelve and First Presidency. 

8. Any message we could convey to the members of the Church? President Kimball said, “We fervently hope the people will live according to the counsel of the Lord as revealed in the scriptures and revelations. We wish them to be honorable, to have integrity, to be honest, to be compassionate and so on.

At this point Brother Ashton concluded the questioning and said the First Presidency would now go to their offices–to the office of the First Presidency for formal portraits. At this point we left the conference. 

[LJA Diary, 31 Dec., 1973]

A brother Collier, who came in to see me today, said that he read in Heber J. Grant’s diary an entry in which he says he turned over the Council of Fifty minutes to Joseph Anderson and put him under a covenant never to give them to anybody to use. I do not know what disposition Joseph Anderson has made of these, but I would guess that they would be in the vault of the First Presidency.

[LJA Diary, 12 Feb., 1974]

When Jim Allen had his luncheon the other day with Paul Dunn, Brother Dunn was talking about different styles of administration and made a comparison of President Lee and President Kimball. He said that President Lee was a very firm administrator, so firm, that some people were a little afraid of him–a little afraid of doing something he might not approve of; he ran a very tight ship. He wanted to have the opportunity of making a ruling on nearly every matter, both of overwhelming importance and lesser importance, and he expected everybody to carry out his instructions literally. He worked steadily at his desk, and perhaps this insistence upon running everything contributed to his health problem.

President Kimball on the other hand, is a far more relaxed administrator. He is willing to give more discretion to other General Authorities and Church administrators in general. He is less of a man in a hurry than President Lee. President Lee always stayed at his office and made all of his decisions there. President Kimball, on the other hand, wanders around the Church Administration Building and visits with people in their own offices, and when he needs to see somebody, he goes up to their office instead of calling them down. While he is a sober-minded person when he should be, he does have a good sense of humor and is willing to joke to some extent with people he is conversing with. President Kimball also perhaps is more forgiving of people who make mistakes or violate a covenant. 

[LJA Diary, 24 Feb., 1974]

Roland Rich Woolley telephoned today to mention several things:

1. He has written a letter to President Kimball with a suggestion that I ought to prepare a full-length biography of his grandfather, Edwin D. Woolley.

2. He is planning to write a letter to Dallin Oaks informing him of his contribution to BYU Press and urging him to keep pressure on Ernest Olson to see that the book gets out soon.

3. He has heard that Saturday night’s Church News has a long article on Ezra Taft Benson “trying to clean him up”–or trying to emphasize his good points. Brother Woolley said he realized that Brother Benson is not well thought of by many churchmen because of his dallying around with the John Birch Society, and Brother Woolley realizes that Brother Benson definitely needs cleaning up to be well accepted by most members of the Church. He also said that Brother Benson had been unwise in another respect– he had allowed himself to be on the Board of Directors of the Olson Egg Producers. Apparently this went on even when he was Secretary of Agriculture. This was illegal, and if not illegal, certainly unwise for him to have done this. Brother Woolley said he was afraid that one of these days this would come out in the open and be given publicity that would not be good for the Church. 

[LJA Diary, 25 Feb., 1974]

Sister Helen Goates said that her father, Harold B. Lee, kept a diary. She said it hadn’t been determined who would get the diaries–whether it would go to Sister Lee or her or be retained by the Church. She said they were permitted only one day to get out of President Lee’s office his personal things. They were not prepared psychologically or otherwise to do this. They had no time to consult people. They couldn’t decide whether the diary was an official diary or a personal one. They said they would continue discussions and that matter would be decided later. She said she would let me know where the diary finally was lodged. Brent Goates and Brother Mason both said they kept diaries–not with daily entries but occasional entries. 

[LJA Diary, 20 Mar., 1974]

Left Tuesday morning for “Meet the Mormons” Week at Tallahassee, Florida. I stayed in the home of the mission president, Spencer Osborn, who is an owner of Osborn Manufacturing Company in Utah. At the mission home learned that beginning in 1960 the Church started the policy of making the mission home and the mission offices separate. Brother Packer was the first mission president to insist on this when he took his ten children to the New England Mission because he wanted his family to live as normally as possible. Because of this and several instances where wives of mission presidents have gotten ill or died from the strain caused by the mission home and offices combined, they are now separated.

[LJA Diary, 1 Apr., 1974]

Attended this morning the seminar for regional representatives. The first hour was taken by President Kimball, who gave a powerful address on the responsibility to go to all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. In order to fulfill this heavy and ever-present obligation, we must strengthen our missionary effort and greatly expand the number of local missionaries. We should work toward the goal of having 100 percent local missionaries. 

5. The Church has approximately 100,000 converts per year. This is not enough considering the increase in population throughout the world. We must step up missionary work all over the world. The Lord will find a way to open door.

6. We have now 17,500 missionaries of whom 8,900 went through the mission home in 1973. We must send more missionaries and train them better and longer. We do not need testimony-barren missionaries. Of all the missionaries 9,500 teach the gospel in English–this is 55 percent. Forty-five percent teach in other languages and nearly all of these are trained in the LTM.

7. Every worthy and able young man should fill a mission. We must do the following: 

(a) Enlarge our field of operations by breaking down regional barriers. The Lord will open doors.

(b) Enlarge the army of missionaries.

(c) Do better, note effective missionary work. Use modern inventions–radio, TV.

(d) Learn languages.

(e) Get to the missions in China, India, South America, and Arabia. Possible use of satellites for communications.

8. We must greatly step up our efforts in populous countries–South Korean has 7,500 members while the Philippines only two missions and a stake. There are huge masses in Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, and Japan and only 29,000 members in Australia.

9. Of the 1,342 missionaries in Great Britain, 8 percent are local missionaries; of 600 missionaries in Australia, 9 percent are local; of 489 missionaries in Mexico, 25 percent are local. We need to develop local missionaries outside the United States and Canada who can serve not only in their own countries but also in other countries as well where we do not yet have very many trained missionaries. For example, we should send Australians to India, British to Continental Europe, Japanese to China, Texans (?) to Africa.

10. Within the stakes we should increase the number of missionaries, improve the financing of missionaries, improve our indoctrination and training of missionaries. We must change the image that “We are doing well; let’s not rock the boat.” Every member must be a missionary.

11. Of 18,000 missionaries this year 81 percent will come from the United States and Canada and only 19 percent from other countries.

[LJA Diary, 4 Apr., 1974]

Today while Davis and I were eating lunch in the cafeteria, Dallin Oaks came by and asked to talk with us a few moments. He said that when he was at the University of Chicago, he had developed great interest in following the bankruptcy trials of Joseph Smith. He had conversations with a bright young Mormon law student, Joseph Ivins Bentley, and they reached an agreement that Brother Oaks would attempt to open doors, locate material and so on to find the bankruptcy papers of Joseph Smith and Brother Bently would write the first draft of a manuscript. They located all of the bankruptcy papers in the National Archives and also a number of other related papers at other archives. Brother Bentley has been working on this in after duty hours for almost seven years and has now delivered to Brother Oaks the first draft. It is about thirty pages long on legal-sized paper, plus about fifteen legal pages of footnotes.

President Oaks says it sets down all the information, some well organized and some needs reorganizing. He asked if I would go over the draft and tell him what is new and what is not new and suggest other sources for supplementary information that might be added. He suggested that among other things the data shows the origin of the troubles between Emma Smith and Brigham Young. She received a great deal of property which was really Church property, and Brigham Young fought her on this.

This is an amazing discovery. President Oaks said that he had kept the lid on the thing and not told a soul about it, because they wanted to publish it first; but now that they are about through, he wants me to consult with them but do so in confidence. I am to tell nobody about it.

[LJA Diary, 4 Apr., 1974]

In our meeting with Brother [Joseph] Anderson this morning he said that the real origin of the Church Welfare Plan was with President Clark—he conceived it, he outlined it, he thought of the elaborate skeem [sic] of it organizationally and ideologically.  Since he conceived it, President Grant more or less turned it over to him as his baby and he advised it and directed it all the way along until his death.

Brother Anderson said that President Clark was one of the greatest men for details that he had ever seen-a truly great mind that could see through the heart of any problem to develop a program that was desirable or necessary.  He said that during the League of Nations controversy, Brother Clark worked for Senator Philander C. Knox and Brother Anderson said that President Clark wrote all of Senator Knox’s speeches directed against the League of Nations.

[LJA Diary, 16 Apr., 1974]

Had a minute’s chat with T. Edgar Lyon this morning. He said that he was a home teacher for a brief period of Susa Young Gates. Apparently he lived in the same ward as B. Cecil Gates, her son, who had a large family. He was assistant director of the choir and was having emotional problems so that he couldn’t stand the children, so he was moved to Susa’s place and she moved into his place—I presume the children stayed there. At any rate, Ed said she was not any very good model of Latter-day Saint womanhood. He said that he knew from close family connections that her first husband, who divorced her, was appalled at her treatment of the first two children, Leah Widtsoe being one of them. She was so anxious to get the children out of the house so she could do something worthwhile, from her standpoint, that she had them outside even at night playing in their nightgowns. He said that after she married Jacob Gates, she was so oblivious to housework that he had to do all the house cleaning, the dishes, cooking the meals and everything else that a housewife or mother usually does. She went blindly on with her editing, her writing, her interviews and her contacts with important people.

Ed thought that poor Jacob Gates deserves a gold star in Heaven for keeping the family together.

Last night I spoke at a fireside of young marrieds in the home of brother Poelman, a young lawyer. About thirty-five were present. There was a very exciting discussion about Church history and our work in the Historical Department. Present were Brother and Sister Richard McKay. He is a son of Lewellyn and Alice Smith McKay—therefore a grandson of David O. He is rather short and  bald-headed. He says that his maternal grandfather was born a Rich—son of Coulson Rich—and then the mother turned around and married Joseph F. Smith. He was therefore, a natural descendant of Charles C. Rich and the Smith family have always told him that he got his bald head from the Riches (I would counter that Charles C. Rich had five times as much hair in his 70s as Joseph F. Smith had). Also his shortness is supposed to have come from the Rich side (but Charles C. was 6 feet 4 inches and Joseph F. was barely 6 feet). At any rate, Alice Smith McKay’s father was born a Rich, but when her mother married Joseph F. Smith, he was adopted into the Joseph F. Smith family and given the Smith name. And while Joseph F. Smith wrote endearing letters to Alice McKay’s mother–letters which the family still have–the rest of the family did not regard Alice’s father as a full member of the Smith family–he was a kind of outcast, looked down upon, discriminated against, treated meanly, and so on. At least that is the impression that the family had. He himself, according to Dick McKay never complained of this nor even remarked about it, but Alice Smith felt it very keenly and so part of her problem with the Church was rebellion against the Joseph F. Smith family in general and against Joseph Fielding Smith in particular, who was the one who treated her most cruelly or so she supposed.

This condition helped motivate her to do work in history and psychology and her writing this thesis when she was in this stage of rebellion and petulance would help to explain the tone of that masters thesis. Joseph Fielding’s penned comment about the thesis in our archives can also be explained partly at his irritation with this supposed sister of his, who shouldn’t have been a sister, writing something which he regarded as disloyal and hateful.

Dick McKay said he had never read the thesis–had been afraid to–but had heard much about it. I told him that we were not nearly so defensive and it wouldn’t read so bad as it would have thirty years ago.

I talked to him a little about psycho-history. He also wanted my comments on Fawn Brodie, since she was his relative also. I was a little too straightforward perhaps for him. I hope he will not recite things I said to him last night to the family. He is an intelligent and a very good-natured person.

Dick say’ that his mother Alice has mellowed considerably toward the Church, although she has not completely mellowed. He also said that she had done a great deal of good for people in the Salt Lake Valley in connection with her social work. He implied that there was a little friction between David O. McKay and Joseph Fielding Smith partly because of Joseph Fielding Smith’s treatment of Alice and Lewellyn.  David O. McKay was a fierce family supporter and found it difficult to appreciate people who treated his children unjustly as he regarded it.

One other interesting facet.  Lewellyn and Alice McKay are long-time very close friends of Sterling McMurrin. It will be remembered that Sterling was given that big interview by President McKay in which President McKay made the statement that the failure to give the priesthood was not a doctrine but a practice and that Sterling summarized that interview immediately afterward and sent a copy to Lewellan for the record. It will be remembered that President McKay came to the rescue of Sterling McMurrin when Sterling was about to be excommunicated from the Church. President McKay saved him. That could have been on the representation of Lewellyn and Alice.

[LJA Diary, 16 Sep., 1974]

Last night Grace and I and James attended the first meeting of the year of Cannon-Hinckley Church History Club. We sat at the same table with Sister Lester Hewlett and her daughter Maureen and husband, Budge Christensen. It was a friendly table. We spent a good deal of time talking about drama, the theatre, and acting because of James’ presence.

The Christensens said that at the request of the Relief Society they had kept in their home over the years something like twenty-five or thirty unwed mothers. They told a number of stories about them such as the daughter of a stake president, who was showing very heavily with child, who came into their home, saw a carton of empty Coke bottles on the floor. “You certainly don’t drink Coke do you,” she said. Another girl, a daughter of a bishop, only fifteen years old, who was pregnant, stayed with them. The Christensens asked her which she thought was worse, to smoke or to commit adultery. She thought and thought, was very serious, and thought and thought, and finally she said she thought it was worse to smoke.

We talked about the matter of telling the truth in Church history to young people. Sister Christensen felt strongly that we must be very careful with children ages three through seven but that young people in their teens ought to be told enough to recognize that Church officials have their faults and shortcomings and ought to be told, for example, that Brigham Young once chewed tobacco.

The speaker was David Kennedy. He and his wife Leanora came early as we did to get good seats, and we had an opportunity of talking with them for a few moments.

Because of the Kennedys’ presence, there were at the dinner in addition all three members of the First Presidency and their wives and all members of the Cannon-Hinckley Club in Salt Lake City except those who were ill. A total of 114 persons–possibly the largest turn out the club has ever had.

Grace and I had the opportunity of shaking hands with President and Sister Romney and when Grace asked Sister Romney whether she had gone to Washington with her husband, President Romney said she hadn’t been saving her pennies long enough and thus had to stay here. We were warmly greeted by President and Sister Kimball. Sister Kimball told me she had just finished reading my life of Charles C. Rich. I asked her if it was all right. She said it was very interesting and she was impressed with the sacrifices which he and his family had made for the gospel–the moving about, the establishment of homes, the leaving of family and so on.

Brother Kennedy spoke off the cuff–not from a paper or from notes. He started out by saying that he had been told about an occasion when President Lee–presumably just a new apostle–was driving to conference with Albert E. Bowen and John A. Widtsoe. They stopped to attend a Sacrament Meeting. Brother Widtsoe as the senior in authority, told Brother Lee that he should be the spokesman in case they were called upon to speak. Brother Lee asked what he should speak of or about. Brother Bowen replied he should speak about what he might be inspired to say under the influence of the spirit, but “He was under no obligation to reveal any new doctrine.” Brother Kennedy said he remembered that advice in speaking before all members of the First Presidency.

Brother Kennedy spoke first about their experiences in Washington in connection with opening the temple. Mrs. Ford’s carefully arranged schedule permitted her only a half hour, but she spent instead almost two hours.  Going through the temple with the Presidency and Brother Kennedy besides Mrs. Ford were several senators, some Justices of the Supreme Court, a number of clergy and others. Afterwards there was a press conference at which the Chief Justice Burger was asked questions abut the significance of Mormonism and the temple. One specific question was would he justify the expenditure of $14 million for a temple at a time when many people in the world were starving. He replied that the temple was a symbol and there was need for a symbol. It was dedicated to the Lord, and how could you put a price on something given to the Lord. He emphasized the importance to the nation of a symbol for the sacredness of marriage. Brother Kennedy said that the doctrine of eternity of the marriage covenant appealed to many of those important individuals. He read letters from some ambassadors to him in which they mentioned appreciation for our concept of eternal marriage. He read a letter from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who commented on that and also on the character and achievements of Mormons who were members of the armed forces. Brother Kennedy mentioned President Kimball’s talk at the time of the concert of the Tabernacle Choir in the Kennedy Center. President Kimball told the people “If you could know what we know, if you could have gotten the divine guidance which we have gotten in the temple, you would all be baptized tomorrow.”

Brother Kennedy said that at the end of the concert President Ford was ushered out so as not to be involved with the crowd of people, but then he waited around in an anteroom and came back after everybody else had left to speak to the choir and to meet them so that literally, he was the last one to leave after the concert.

Brother Kennedy then talked about the question of whether a Latter-day Saint can live his religion outside the values of the mountains. Can you be a good LDS and live in the world? Can you succeed in business and live LDS standards? Brother Kennedy said he was convinced that you have to be yourself, and if you are yourself you can. Some years ago when he was getting started in the finance world a good friend of his advised him, “David, you are too tense; you must, relax; you must take a social drink.” Brother Kennedy said he thanked him because that was the best advice he could give, and shortly thereafter they were at a meeting and the cocktail boy brought a whole arm load of drinks of various kinds and asked him what he would like. Just at that moment this good friend and boss of his came up. He looked at Kennedy; Kennedy looked at him. There was a difficult pause and Kennedy then blurted out to the cocktail boy, “I’ll have the strongest ginger ale you have got.” Recently this same person was recovering from a serious illness and asked Kennedy to come to see him. When David did, the fellow said that he wanted to apologize for that advice that he had given him many years before–that it was the wrong advice. Each person has to be himself and has to be what he is. Kennedy himself had a serious illness some time ago and after the operation the doctors told him he would have to give up his strenuous church activity. At the time I gather, he was a member of the stake presidency. Kennedy accepted the advice, thanked them, and then the day he got out of the hospital went to his regular Wednesday evening stake presidency meeting. His wife Leanora was apprehensive of the performance of her duties as an ambassador’s wife and hostess at Brussels, Belgium when Kennedy was ambassador to NATO. Another kind person told her, “Don’t worry, just be yourself; that is all that is necessary.”

Kennedy then talked about the central theme of President Kimball of taking the gospel to all the world. This is not a Utah church or an American church–it is a universal church. It is Christ’s church and God’s church. The gospel is for all, men, as pointed out in the introduction to the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Brother Kennedy said that not long ago when he was president of Chicago Stake they had commissioned a person to prepare a drama about the Church in Illinois. The writer had based the piece around the theme of the assassination of Joseph Smith. He thought this was wrong. The message of Nauvoo was not a message of death–even the death of the Prophet. It was a living message. The gospel is not concerned with the grave but with the resurrection. (Wouldn’t it be interesting to prepare a talk on the living gospel as illustrated by incidents in Church history rather than dredging up the dead past?)

Brother Kennedy said that he had recently been in Portugal in the attempt to get the gospel introduced there. He had a long conversation with the foreign minister. The foreign minister said that he was an agnostic but a student of religion. He asked many questions about the Church and thought the Church’s emphasis on the family was very important and very praiseworthy.

Brother Kennedy said that this is a good example of the fact that the world is now in such a situation that they ask the golden questions. We don’t have to.

He ended on a positive note in relation to the Church and then said he would be

glad to respond to questions. The first question asked by Ernest Wilkinson, was his prescription for controlling inflation. Brother Kennedy said that inflation was the most important question facing the United States right now. He said to control the inflation we have to pay the price–we have to slow down on debt creation process–not just government debt but private debt as well. If we don’t, inflation will cause us to tighten our belts in an undesirable way.

I asked Brother Kennedy about the role of his early life in his subsequent career. I said, “Randolph, Utah must surely be a most unlikely place for a Secretary of Treasury to have come from.” I said, “As I look about this crowd of people here tonight, many came from small communities of that nature and yet they have distinguished themselves nationally and internationally. How do you explain that? Is it because of the influence of the small town or what?” Brother Kennedy responded that there were several things which were a product of his own family, of the small town, and of the Church–all intermingled.

First of all, there was the strong belief in education—“the glory of God is intelligence,” “A man can be saved no faster than he obtains knowledge,” and so on. This was very important. Second, he and others like him were taught to work–to work long hours and conscientiously to give of their best. Third, the training in Church to give 2 ½-minute talks from a very early age, teaching opportunities, missions, and so on. Fourth, he and his generation–all of us in the Church–are taught to think and to exercise our free agency. Fifth, he thought that there were many values to be obtained from working with the soil–values that could not be obtained living in a community of asphalt and concrete.

Brother Kennedy ended with a short little sermon on the importance of opening up the gospel to people all over the world. It was a stimulating evening. James enjoyed it very much as did Grace and I, and in fact all of those present. Inspirational and thoughtful and wholesome.

[LJA Diary, 18 Sep., 1974]

J. Winter Smith came in to see me today and lay on the couch while he talked to me for about an hour or more. From here I recruited Gene Sessions to help him to get to the office of Elder LeGrand Richards.

Brother Smith said that it is family tradition and lore that when the Smith family were going to Far West in 1837, they came across a massacre in which a family of white emigrants were massacred by a group of Indians. All persons had been killed or they thought had been killed. Then one of the Smiths–he thought perhaps William Smith–heard a groaning in a bush nearby. It turned out to be a girl of perhaps ten years of age who had somehow miraculously survived the Indian attack. She was taken in by Mother Smith, presumably Lucy Mack Smith. She had been hit on the head with a tomahawk two or three times which impaired her memory, her speech, and her rationality. Mother Smith nursed her back to health. Because she was backward, not bright, and did not look presentable, she was kept in the background.

She had a crucifix around her neck when they found her. Joseph Smith and family simply called her the “Madonna.” They never found out her name, and she was not able to tell them her name. At any rate, the Smiths raised her.

When she was older, according to family tradition, she was married as a plural wife to Joseph Smith and she gave birth to a child by Joseph Smith before his death.

After Joseph Smith’s assassination, there were terrible times in Nauvoo and Hancock County as Mormons were burned out, killed and otherwise cruelly treated. During this period a mob killed the Madonna, beheaded her, and set her head on a fencepost as a warning to other Mormons. Her child was adopted by Mormons and was later taken to Utah. Some friendly person, out of regard for her, took her mother’s head from the fencepost–the flesh had long since disappeared apparently–and gave her the skull. She kept the skull as a secret and sacred remembrance.

This girl, according to family tradition, later married one of the Youngs, so that her husband was a Young and her father was Joseph Smith. One of her children by one of the Young boys was Mary, who married a Jensen. She must have been a midwife or M.D. because she was always called Dr. Mary. She died approximately nine years ago.

J. Winter Smith was very friendly with her over many years. He says that her father-in-law, he thinks, a retired Army colonel, who is now in his 90s, has a little mysterious trunk in which a lot of letters and relics have been placed (or perhaps he was the husband of Dr. Mary and after her death inherited the trunk which was Mary’s). At any rate, in his possession is a mysterious trunk in which this skeleton of her mother is placed. J. Winter says he has seen the skeleton. It was shown to him by Dr. Mary. The small head suggests that her mother was young when killed. (If she were ten in 1837 that would make her eighteen in 1845 or nineteen in 1846.)

There are also supposed to be letters and diaries in that little trunk J. Winter says if he outlives the old man, who is 98, he is to get the trunk with all of the things in it.  These contain many Smith things apparently.  If J. Winter does not get these, we don’t know where they will go.  The old colonel is apparently strongly anti-Mormon according to J. Winter.  Two lady missionaries happened onto his home tracting, and when he found out they were Mormon missionaries he went to the house to get his gun and yelled threats to them.  They ran off screaming.

J. Winter says that he has letters to his father, Samuel H. B. Smith from Jesse N. Smith, from John L. Smith, George A. Smith, and Joseph Smith III.  He said he would try to hunt for these and make these available to us.  I strongly urged him to do so.

[LJA Diary, 8 Oct., 1974]

Carol Lynn and Gerald Pearson said that we ought to consider doing a biography of Jesse Evans Smith–they thought Jesse Smith was as much of a folklore character among the Mormons as J. Golden Kimball and for significant reason–they think people tell as many Jesse Evans Smith stories as they do J. Golden Kimball stories.

They swear the following is true. That when Jesse Evans Smith was married to Joseph F. Smith she reduced her age by ten years and at the time she was serving as Salt Lake County recorder, and so she went to the records and changed them to read ten years after the real one. Then, of course, Joseph Fielding Smith was Church Historian and they claim that she got access to her birth record and her membership record and she changed these to date it up ten years. Thus, according to official records at the time she died she was only sixty-five officially. Whereas actually, of course, she was seventy-five.

[LJA Diary, 21 Oct., 1974]

In my meeting with Charles Tate and Truman Madsen on Tuesday, Truman Madsen, who is a grandson of Heber J. Grant, mentioned two things about Edwin D. Woolley. Edwin D. Woolley was bishop of the ward in which President Grant grew up. Apparently Bishop Woolley said that Heber J. Grant was a lazy good-for-nothing. Heber J. reacted so strongly against this that he promptly went to work and built a nice home for his mother and in other ways demonstrated his energy and industry. Truman’s comment was that Bishop Woolley may have been a psychologist and this may have been his way of getting Heber J. to wake up and make a man of himself.

Truman also mentioned that for some reason B. H. Roberts as a young man was in the 13th Ward at the time he was working in the mines.  Maybe the boundaries of the ward extended to the mines or maybe he came back on weekends to stay with some family in the ward. Anyway, his membership was in the 13th Ward. This was about the time Roberts was sixteen or seventeen. Roberts was apparently not active in going to church and maybe displayed some other characteristics as drinking and/or smoking and/or swearing as the result of his experience with miners. Bishop Woolley did not like this and so either through the quorum or on his own authority he excommunicated B. H. Roberts.  This was in Roberts’ absence.  Roberts’ first reaction, according to Truman, was “well, so what?” but the more he thought of it the more seriously he took this as a challenge.  He went back to Bishop Woolley and protested vehemently.  He demanded a hearing.  At the hearing he confessed his wrongs and promised to do better, and so he was reinstated by Bishop Woolley.  This was a basic point in his life and from then on he was a loyal churchman.  Within a year or two he was the blacksmith in Clearfield studying the scriptures and within a year or two he was on his mission to the Southern states.  Again Truman posits that this may have been Bishop Woolley’s psychology at work.  He sees the potential of Roberts, sees him drifting toward evil things, and picks him up by excommunication or threatened excommunication.

Becky Cornwall might be able to find something in the Heber J. Grant papers that will bear on his relationship with Bishop Woolley.  She might also be able to find something in the Robert’s Papers particularly in the life of Roberts, which is in my office, as background.  She can ask Richard Jensen to show her where the excommunication files are and see if Roberts is listed as having been excommunicated.  The papers in relation to that might be in the 13th Ward or in the Salt Lake Stake High Council trials.

[LJA Diary, 12 Dec., 1974]

This morning coming on the bus I sat with John Talmage who told me a little about management of the Deseret News during the period he was associated with it. Brother Talmage says that in 1934 when his father James E. Talmage became more closely connected with the Deseret News the news literally had twenty-six bosses, all of the General Authorities of the Church. Each one felt free to phone up and tell them what to do both on policy and procedure matters and often did so even to the extent of requiring them to run a picture or article on some relative leaving on a mission or something of that order.

Elder Talmage felt that this was a hopeless situation and tried to get it altered. The chief obstacle was President Clark who hated newspapers, did not trust them, and wanted to have the right to interfere and make suggestions whenever he wished. Finally sometime between 1934 and 1939 Albert Bowen of President Clark’s law firm was chosen to be an apostle and was made the contact man among the General Authorities and since that date there has been one Genera1 Authority who has been more or less a representative through whom all matters pertaining to the Deseret News were channeled by Church matters. That man today is Gordon Hinckley.

Brother Talmage reminisced a little and mentioned the time when President Penrose as editor of the news wrote an editorial about C. C. Goodwin, son of C. C. Goodwin. The editorial went something like this: Many years ago there came a person into our community who was not exactly one of us but who as received well by the community. He enjoyed writing nice things about people and he was regarded as having a particular talent in writing obituaries. He was assigned to write obituaries for many people and people came to have such affection for him that as a term of affection they called him Obituary Goodwin. He reared a son who followed in his footsteps in the newspaper game, C. C. Goodwin, but the son grew up in an atmosphere of anti-Mormonism and hatred for the Mormons and their institutions.  The editorial went on, “This son of Obituary Goodwin . . .”  Brother Talmage regarded that as one of the nicest ways of calling a man a son of a bitch that he had ever read in the Church newspaper.

Brother Talmage mentioned the period when Gordon came in, a kind of apostate Mormon—not a good Mormon at all—free thinking.  If a General Authority told him to do something, he would do the opposite twice as strongly.  He mentioned Hawkes coming in and insisting upon a good strong contract under which he could more or less run the paper the way it should be run but the people kept trying to interfere and use influence and persuasion and finally after some years according to Brother Talmage he caved in and gave up the struggle and more or less did what they asked him to do.

[LJA Diary, 18 Dec., 1974]

In the afternoon Golden Buchanan and Bill Hartley came in. Bill has taped sixteen interviews of Brother Buchanan and it looks as though it could go on for many, many more. There are two objects in the interviews. First, their contents which is not available anywhere else. Second, to provide a framework for Brother Buchanan to write a book, which he says he was assigned to write long ago. He is an officiator in the Salt Lake Temple now and was a member of the stake presidency in Richfield. He looks about seventy-five years old.

Brother Buchanan says that he had an interview yesterday with President Kimball. He went in with twenty minutes allotted and they spent one and one-half hours. He is an old friend of President Kimball. As he expressed it, he has slept with him, eaten bread and milk with him, and had spiritual experiences with him, as well as working together in business–mostly Indian business. President Kimball was appointed to work with the Indians and didn’t have a program. Upon the occasion when some Indians went to Richfield to work, some of which were LDS, when they were ready to leave there was a little girl that begged Brother Buchanan to let her stay behind with him, and he got the idea of the Indian Placement Program, so Brother Buchanan called President George Albert Smith, who referred him to President Kimball. Two or three days later, President Kimball was down to talk to him about it. That began their association, and it has been very close ever since.

President Kimball yesterday reasserted the instructions he had received in President Clark’s office in the 1940s to do a history of the relationship between the Indians and the Church. President Kimball emphasized it very strongly and talked about it a great deal—what should go into the book, etc.  President Kimball gave him the charge to write the book with all the time that he has at his disposal without giving up his assignment in the temple, but he is a supervisor so he can make time. President Kimball said that he had planned to do a history about work with the Indians and had accumulated a lot of material—6 books!—and he went to the cabinet and said to Brother Buchanan that he could use his material. President Kimball feels strongly it needs to be done.

Brother Buchanan is himself part Indian–one-fourth Choctaw, and he regards himself as an Indian–thinks as an Indian. His most intimate associations through his life have been with Indian people; so it is more than a casual or accidental interest. He has had many intimate conversations with Indians and they have told him stories that have never been recorded. He knows the stories of the Hopis, Navahos, Cherokees, etc. and has documents on them as well as stories. He has also done studying on what has been written on these groups and the strengths and weakness of the groups.

Bill brought Brother Buchanan in because he thought it was important for us to know about this conversation with President Kimball, and I think Bill felt that we might be willing to help him out in some way. This seemed to be obvious, so we spent awhile talking about various ways that we might be able to help him. I told him that we felt very strongly that he should continue his oral history interviews and work toward the book, and we felt very strongly we should help him in this project.

What we decided was that I would write to President Kimball after getting Brother Anderson’s approval, and tell him about our conversation and ask if President Kimball would be willing to provide a budget to have our office hire a Historical Associate fulltime to work with Brother Buchanan to help him do his book–putting together necessary materials, etc. We would also ask for funds to employ a secretary who would work fulltime to transcribe oral history interviews, type notes, etc. We would also request a dictaphone for Brother Buchanan that he might take home with him or use it at the office to dictate when ideas come to him. It occurs to me that for about $15,000 we might be able to really give this thing a good start and get it finished before he gets, too old. 

If President Kimball is as interested in it as his conversation reflects, he wouldn’t stop at $15,000. He can understand that everybody here has an assignment already. We don’t have a logical person on our staff to do it anyway. I don’t know who would be the best man to employ. Dale Beecher is a possibility as is Delmont Oswald and Glen Humphreys. Michael Quinn is also a very good possibility.

Golden Buchanan is thinking of writing of more recent times in a retrospective view. He doesn’t want to begin his book until the oral history tapes are transcribed. Brother Buchanan also asked me if he thought it was proper for him to record confidential experiences with President Kimball and others and if he could do so with full assurance they would not be revealed or made available until after President Kimball’s death. I assured him on that and he began telling of some experiences of President Kimball, one of which, as he expressed it, was a day that President Kimball spent with Jesus. There are some things President Kimball would not want to be mentioned to any but still it should be recorded to be made available after President Kimball’s death.

Yesterday morning Florence Jacobsen called me into her office and let me read a letter from Truman Madsen to her. She quite innocently, after she had talked about the Heber J. Grant biography, had telephoned Truman to see if he had any materials. She told him something about our plans. This shocked him and he started telling her about what he had been doing the last twenty years toward himself doing a biography of Heber J. Grant, and that shocked her. He later responded to her with this letter in which he describes all the material he has. It shocked her because he has a lot–he has the papers from every member of the family except Florence’s own mother. He has hundreds of letters and photographs and dictations and remembrances and all kinds of excerpts from things he has investigated.

Florence asked me what we should do. She arranged an appointment with her son Heber for yesterday afternoon, and he came in after Brother Buchanan left. It appears that Heber had telephoned her just two days ago to say, “We children would like to do something about Grandpa Heber J. Grant. How can we get a biography written?” She agreed with the children and agreed that they should come down and talk to me about it. In the meantime all the other happened. We had an earnest conversation whether Truman was the right one to write the biography, and Florence felt quite strongly that Truman was not the right person. Her principal reason was that he was not a good writer–she didn’t enjoy reading the things he published. They were fine for philosophers and literary people, but she did not think he was down to earth enough to write a human interest ‘biography of Heber J. Grant.

When she asked me I mentioned my feeling that he would not finish the book. I gave the example of the Roberts’ biography–how long he has been on that and has not finished it. I mentioned also his penchant for giving lectures and talks. I mentioned also that with us having all these Grant materials  somebody is going to have to spend a year or two going through them and Truman would not do it systematically. 

We ended up with this proposition: That I would draft a letter to Truman saying that I had learned from Florence about this material and then mention what we had planned to do and our timetable, and ask him what he thought would be appropriate to do. We thought that he would probably agree that he wouldn’t be able to do the biography within an appropriate time limit and that he would cooperate, especially if we offered him the inducement of a collaboration. I will show the letter to Davis and Jim and Florence and then send the letter. 

This brings us to the proposal that Heber made about the Grant family assisting financially with the biography. They apparently are doing well in their family business and see an opportunity to make a donation for which they would be given a tax credit which really wouldn’t cost them very much. He introduced in some detail a program which would involve the following things: 

(1) A commissioned biography of Jedediah M. Grant. Apparently the family do not feel that Mary Judd book is sufficient. 

(2) A Moyle-type thing about Heber J. Grant which has a biography of his wives, his parents, and of his descendants, and maybe a few documents and favorite stories about Heber J. Grant. 

(3) A biography of Heber J. Grant–possibly a multi-volume biography. 

In terms of the three projects he asked me to make estimates of having it done and published and we ended up with something around $50,000. I explained our plan with Gene Sessions which might have to be altered to be collaborator and Gene will be occupied on his present project. He asked what could be done in the meantime before he could start. I told him oral history interviews, typing of diaries, sorting collections. He asked me for an estimate for that cost up until September 1 when Gene might start. I estimated $6,000. I said we could spend that money immediately and it would all be on Heber J. Grant and it would be necessary and worthwhile preparation toward writing the full biography.  I proposed to him the use of Rebecca Cornwall in doing the Jedediah Grant biography, and I mentioned the desirability of having a fulltime secretary to work on it and also expenses for Xeroxing. We could do that for $6,000. He said he would take it up with the family and they might be willing to give us some or all of that. I said if we could only get $5,000, that would be helpful. I explained about the Mormon History Trust Fund.

As soon as we get a letter to Truman and a reply, then I am to notify them and then they are to indicate what they might be willing to do and I have the impression that they would not hesitate to give us $5,000 or $6,000. I will have to clear this with Brother Anderson and Earl because it means we will have to buy a typewriter and it probably means we will have to make a desk available. We might even have to buy a desk and it means giving someone access to the Grant papers which I think Brother Anderson would approve.

[LJA Diary, 29 Jan., 1975]

12. Brother Arrington presented to those present a copy of a proposed letter which he desires to send to President Kimball, in which he sets forth a plan whereby we may be of assistance to Golden Buchanan in completing a book he is writing regarding the Indians. Brother Arrington recommended that a new historical associate and typist be employed and that additional office equipment be purchased in order to accomplish this. After discussion it was suggested to Brother Arrington that he re-write the letter to President Kimball, telling him of our desire to be helpful to Brother Buchanan and seeking his direction in the matter.

13. With reference to the biography of President Heber J. Grant, Brother Arrington stated that plans are under way for the conducting of oral history interviews with members of President Grant’s family and other associates. Brother Arrington stated that he has learned that Truman Madsen has a vast collection of material relative to President Grant, and it is assumed that he also has in mind writing a biography of President Grant. Brother Arrington read a letter he proposes to send to Brother Madsen, in which he suggests that there be joint cooperation between our department and Brother Madsen in the use of material and information which has been collected for the writing of such a biography. Approval was given for the letter to be sent to Brother Madsen. Approval was also given for Brother Arrington to discuss with members of President Grant’s family their desire to contribute a sum of money to the Mormon History Trust Fund for the purpose of employing a research assistant and typist in order to speed up the work relative to the biography of President Grant and also biographies of his parents, grandparents, his wives and children. 

[Minutes of the Executives of the Historical Department, 31 Jan., 1975; LJA Diary]

When Brother Hartley took back to LeGrand Richards the transcript of his oral history, he mentioned that we were planning to do a biography of Heber J. Grant and that we would probably be contacting him again for some stories of President Grant. Brother Richards said, “Well, I know one that you probably won’t want in your history. President Grant was asked if Rudgar Clawson would be the next president of the Church–at the time he was president of the Quorum of the Twelve. President Grant said, ‘If the Lord wants Brother Clawson to be president of the Church, then it’s goodbye Heber.’ Then he paused, and paused a little longer and than said, ‘I don’t think the Lord wants Rudgar Clawson to be president of the Church.’” LeGrand Richards said, “Now that wouldn’t go into a biography of President Grant would it?”

[LJA Diary, 31 Jan., 1975]

After the meeting Sister Florence Jacobsen was asked by us to tell us what the basis was for the release of Brother Jay Welch as director of the Tabernacle Choir. She said that several years ago when she and G. Carlos Smith were heads of the YW and YMMIA they had started the Youth Symphony with Brother Welch as director. He was also assistant director of the Tabernacle Choir. Both of these were Church service positions and paid no salary.

In order for the Youth Symphony to perform, various arrangements of tunes had to be done. This involved a reworking of the music for each separate instrument in the orchestra. It is tedious work and requires long hours. They paid Crawford Gates to do one item which cost $5,000 and another item cost $18,000 and so on. But brethren who could do this sort of thing were not always available. After some years of experience she and Carlos asked Brother Welch if he would be willing to produce the arrangements if they paid him, and they agreed to pay him something in the neighborhood of $12,000 a year, so that he and his wife could do the arranging.

After discontinuance of the MIA, the Mormon Youth Symphony was made an independent agency not part of the MIA which was now being dropped, so it was placed in the hands of Brother Welch.

After Brother Welch was appointed director of the Tabernacle Choir, they went through an auditing of his accounts–that is, the accounts of the Mormon Youth Symphony. This was done under the direction of Elder Boyd Packer. Elder Packer discovered through the auditing that Brother Welch had received something in the neighborhood of $12,000 a year at a time when he was administrator of the funds of the Mormon Youth Symphony. Without giving him or Sister Jacobson or Brother Smith the opportunity of defending or explaining this policy and action, Brother Packer went to the president of the Church and demanded Brother Welch resign, which was done. Apparently the First Presidency did not investigate this matter and simply accepted the recommendation of Elder Packer. Florence now indicates that she may go to President Kimball to explain to him just what happened so that they would be more forgiving and more understanding of Brother Welch. She said it was her belief and the belief of many people who were connoisseurs of music that he was head and shoulders above any other person in the Church as director of the Tabernacle Choir and far more devoted to the Church and his calling than many others. And anyway, now that Brother Welch is not available to do these arrangements, they are having to pay others to do them. She thinks Brother Welch will be reappointed director of the Choir at April conference.  She says the quality of singing in the Choir has already deteriorated to some extent.  She says the differences between Brother Welch and Brother Stewart, president of the choir, are relatively minor and can be worked out.

Sister Jacobsen said Elder Packer was very millennialistic in his thinking—very idealistic and severe in his standards of theology and deportment.  This sometimes made him seem harsh, judgmental, and impractical in dealing with real people and real problems.  Perhaps also (I add) he feels a little insecurity in dealing with people and problems.

[LJA Diary, 4 Feb., 1975]

Brother Olson reported as a matter of information that receipt of a recent volume of patriarchal blessings reveals that a patriarchal blessing has been given to a person who has been declared to be of the lineage of Issachar, that, therefore, we now have a record of representatives of all Twelve Tribes of Israel.

[Minutes of the executives of the Historical Department, 1 Apr., 1975]

Last night Grace and I went to Cannon-Hinckley taking our neighbors, Bill and Amy Pulsipher, as guests. They are a handsome couple. We sat at the same table with Brother and Sister Harold Bennett and their two guests, Elizabeth Winters and Ruth Smith. It was a charming table. Brother Bennett used to sing as a bass soloist with the Tabernacle Choir. As a young man he had attended a meeting and happened to sit immediately back of Evan Stevens, at that time an old veteran. They sang some songs and Brother Bennett belted out the song with his rich strong basso. After the end of the song, Brother Stevens reached around and grabbed Brother Bennett’s hand and held onto it until the service was over and then said, “Young man, you should come and live with me and let me teach you how to sing. Who is your father?” Harold replied, “John F. Bennett.” He said, “You tell your father what I just told you.” Harold said his parents would not let him go to live with Evan Stevens, but he did take music lessons for awhile. He said that Brother Evans to have done so well with the choir was not a good voice teacher–he did not understand how to develop the voice. He just about ruined Harold. He apparently had other teachers, however.

Brother Bennett told another anecdote about Evan Stevens. Somebody important from the East was coming to hear the Tabernacle Choir, and a member of the First Presidency went to Brother Stevens and said, “This person is coming. We need to impress them. Have the Tabernacle Choir sing their best.” No comment from Brother Stevens. Another member of the Presidency, not knowing about the first or perhaps wishing to reinforce the first, told Evan Stevens, “This is a very important person and we need to have the Tabernacle Choir sing their best.” No comment from Brother Stevens. Finally the president of the Church contacted Brother Stevens and gave him the same admonition. Somewhat proud and haughty, Brother Stevens said, “This choir does not perform for important people; it sings to the Lord and as long as the Lord is pleased that should be good enough.”

Sister Winters is a sister of Brother Bennett, whose husband died a few years ago. She occupies the family home. Sister Ruth Smith is the widow of Joseph F. Smith, formerly presiding patriarch of the Church. He has been dead several years. She lives in Centerville and has just moved there from Hawaii. She and her husband lived in Centerville for a number of years while he was a professor of speech at the University of Utah and presiding patriarch of the Church. She reared a large family there. She is a charming woman–intelligent and graceful. She is a daughter of Frank Pingree, who was the youngest son of Job Pingree and his last wife. John and James Pingree were her uncles. James, of course, was about to be indicted and go to jail and had a heart attack which killed him. She said the family were relieved when he died before having to serve time. Her father-in-law was Hyrum M. Smith, the apostle and son of Joseph F.  Smith.  She made absolutely no comments about her husband’s release from the position of presiding patriarch.  I wish I could get the straight story on that because there are all kinds of rumors which circulate: One that he was a homosexual; another that he was excommunicated; another that he was disfellowshipped; still another that he simply got tired of giving one blessing after the other—did not think it was creative enough and resigned; still another that Heber J. Grant and others did not give him any authority.  At any rate, it would be an interesting story to ask Mike Quinn to clarify.

[LJA Diary, 16 Apr., 1975]

Brother Arrington reported for the information of the brethren that he was recently told by Lawrence McKay that Merlo Pusey is desirous of writing a biography of President David O. McKay; that, however, the McKay family is opposed to this.  Lawrence McKay inquired regarding the accessibility of President McKay’s journals to those desiring to see them for the purpose of writing his biography.  Brother Arrington suggested to Lawrence that he write to Elder Anderson or Elder Schmidt setting forth his wishes in the matter so that they may be properly considered.

[Minutes of the Executives of the Historical Department, 27 May, 1975; LJA Diary]

In our executives meeting this morning Elder Anderson told a story with respect to one of the sermons delivered by J. Golden Kimball. He did not remember the year, but it must have been in the 1930s. In the sermon for some reason, Elder Kimball got after the farmers in Idaho. He made all kinds of statements holding them up to ridicule–they didn’t have enough sense to pound sand into a rat hole, etc. This was a general conference sermon.

President Grant felt that it was offensive to Idaho farmers and arose and excoriated Elder Kimball–got after him in the strongest language. Brother Anderson took verbatim minutes of the talk and sent it to Elder Kimball for his corrections. Elder Kimball greatly laundered the talk to eliminate the offensive references. When it came in Elder Anderson said to President Grant, “What shall we do? His talk as it is submitted for publication will be quite mild and will make your own remarks seem to be far too strong.” President Grant said, “The answer to that is simple. You go to Brother Kimball”—President Grant loved Brother Kimball—and tell him that we will either publish his talk as originally given plus my comments as originally given or we will leave them both out.

When Brother Anderson went to Brother Kimball he said, “Well, I guess the best thing, Joseph, is to leave both out,” so that was a general conference proceeding which was completely eliminated.

Maybe we could have someone go through the general conference proceedings and find out what year and then look in the Salt Lake Tribune for its summary of Brother Kimball’s talk.

Brother Anderson also said that President Grant was outspoken in this respect. If he felt somebody had done something wrong, he would tell him so in forthright terms, and he would do this from the pulpit quite as readily as in the man’s office.  On one occasion Herb Maw as governor decided to release Stephen L Richards as a member of the Board of Trustees of Utah State Agricultural College.  President Grant felt that was a great mistake.  They would never get as intelligent, dedicated, and strong a person on the board as Stephen L Richards, so President Grant spoke out very harshly and briskly to Governor Maw telling him off for releasing Stephen L Richards from the board.  Governor Maw felt stung and still feels badly about this episode.

[LJA Diary, 29 May, 1975]

Alice Smith came into see me today. When her daughter Caroline was about to leave to go to the Palmyra Pageant, her mother told her to make a point of going up to Harold Hansen, director of the pageant, to say that she, Caroline, had a particular interest in the pageant since her father was instrumental in starting it. Caroline did this and told her mother  later that Brother Hansen replied very brusquely, “He couldn’t have started it because I did!”

Alice said she was in New York with her father at the time the first pageant was planned, I think 1934. It involved her father, Don B. Colton, president of the Eastern States Mission, Ira Markham, and Roscoe Grover. Roscoe apparently wrote the script and scenario for the first page. Alice thinks that Harold Hansen was first connected with the pageant when he was on a mission in the eastern states and only as one of the characters being portrayed. She thinks he was not connected with it at all the first year but possibly the second year of the pageant.

Alice said after her daughter reported the remark of Brother Hansen, she went to Roscoe Grover and said, “Can that possibly be true? Is it possible that we got the wrong story through our family recollections?” Roscoe said, “No, Harold Hansen did not start the pageant and the true story has been written by Ira Markham and will be printed in the Improvement Era (or Ensign).” He said to write Brother Markham. Brother Markham wrote back to Alice from California where he was living to say that the article would appear in the Improvement Era (Ensign) and she should await that, but it never did come out, Alice said, so she thought maybe we ought to try to get in touch with Brother Markham or his heirs if he is dead, to see if they have a draft of the article he sent to the Improvement Era

Harold Hansen has been telling people rather widely that he started it, and we ought to put a stop to it if it is not true.

Alice and I also had an earnest and confidential conversation about Barbara Smith’s stand against ERA, about the gradual removal of Relief Society programs from the Relief Society, and about the general “put down” of women in the Church.  Alice speculates that some of this may have been the result of the psychological experiences of some of the brethren when they were young—feelings of insecurity, poor relationships with parents, and so on.

[LJA Diary, 25 Jun., 1975]

This is the last of the June conferences, President Kimball announced, so I’ve been clipping a good deal about it to put into the Journal History.  It was a cultural extravaganza. A Heritage Square with 50 booths or rooms in the Salt Palace in which there were real life, working exhibits. Such as making old-fashioned bread and apple butter, and free samples; old print shop, with custom-made samples; old dress shop (no samples); making quilts (no free samples); and so on. About a dozen new plays, some musicals, that one could attend. We went to the Friday night Heritage Dance Performance. About 30 groups doing, in succession, different types of dances, chronologically, and then some ethnic groups doing ethnic dances. Really great. We haven’t seen a tenth of what they presented. And everywhere we’ve been there have been huge crowds. I suppose at least 50,000 people have come here for this. Surely far more than General Conference because of the huge crowds of the young, and whole families. I hope they’ll do some great things on a regional basis, because this means too much to the young people and the older people who are young at heart. And the close connection between church and music, dance, theatre, etc. is surely good for both the Church and the arts. I hope the sanctimonious don’t force us to cut out the horseplay. “Man (and woman) is that they might have joy!” We’ve got to do more on this in our history so as to connect our history indelibly with the arts, performing, creative, and otherwise. Help those who preside to realize this indelible, necessary, and constructive connection.

Some interesting stories of LDS marriages at the dinner table yesterday. Truman Madsen: President Charles A. Callis, of Southern States Mission, believed firmly that you aren’t worth a damn until you get married. So he always told his missionary boys to get married quickly after their release. (Of course, a good share of his missionaries were men already married, like your grandfather Noah.). Paul Royal was apparently one of his missionaries. President Callis saw him on the streets after his mission a few months after his release. Asked him if he was married. “No.” “Why not?” “Haven’t been able to find anybody satisfactory.” President Callis told him to come to his office the next morning. When he arrived, President Callis asked him to list all the worthy girls he knew. After he’d gone thru 20 or 30 names, he asked him if he knew a certain girl that had been in the mission office for a while. “Yes, but I’ve hardly met her.” “Be here tomorrow, morning. She’s here in Salt Lake; I’ll get her and reintroduce you.” So the next morning Paul was at the office, very fearful. President Callis reintroduced them, and in doing so, told them that they were supposed to get married. They blanched. President Callis told them to get acquainted during the day, and to show up the next morning at the temple where he would marry them. He did! Still happily married now—some 40 years later!

[LJA to Children, 29 Jun., 1975; LJA Diary]

Today in our executives meeting Elder Anderson told us some stories about Heber J, Grant, He said he had a reputation of being a kind of a spend thrift. Actually he spent very little on himself. Most of his spending was to help out friends and loved ones that he felt needed help. He paid off many widows mortgages that Brother Anderson has knowledge of, he helped support children in school of dear friends, he supported some persons in business deals that were not good risks yet he wanted to help out the person out of friendship.

When President Grant was old, he needed to have a prostate operation. No doctor in Salt Lake City wanted to do it because those operations still involved a certain risk and nobody wanted to do it on the president of the church, so he went to the Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago. The doctor there, a Jewish doctor, performed the operation and then sent him a bill for $2,500. That was a  large sum of money in those days, President Grant directed Brother Anderson to write a letter for his signature saying that he supposed the doctor would presume him to be a wealthy man. There were lots of flowers sent by his business associates, he arrived in a fine chauffeured car, he was the director of Union Pacific Railroad and so on. Actually, however, he was not a wealthy person. He sent along his own personal accounts to show that he was not a wealthy person. The doctor considering this knocked $1,000 off the bill and charged him only $1,500. Later on during the depression of the 1930s, U and I Sugar stock got down to $0.13 per share–not $13 but $0.13 per share, President Grant was able to buy up considerable quantities of stock at that price. As time went on the stock went up and up and up. President Grant’s normal procedure was to hold onto stock, but this time he decided to sell a quantity of it and made a substantial profit. Having made the profit he then wrote to the doctor in Chicago saying that he had been a person of modest mean, but now he was better able to pay and sent him back a check for $1,000.

[LJA Diary, 8 Jul., 1975]

Gordon Irving came in this morning and said he found a phrase in one of Brigham Young’s sermons using the expression “Don’t fret your gizzard.”  In other words, don’t get too worked up about something.  I think we ought to put that on a plaque and put it up for our personnel to see when we have a staff meeting discussing a serious problem.

[LJA Diary, 9 Jul., 1975]

Someone made a remark about the frenzy with which President Kimball has been traveling here and there, making talks.  His wife and his counselors became concerned, and entered into a conspiracy to ask his doctor, Ernest Wilkinson, Jr., to counsel him on a medical basis to cut down this activity.  So Dr. Wilkinson agreed to do so, and gave him counsel, larded with medical language, about why he should cut his activity some.  President Kimball merely looked at him somewhat impatiently and said, “Dr., if you knew what I know, you would not be trying to put a break on my work.”

[LJA Diary, 3 Aug., 1975]

[Asian Area Conference report]  President Romney:  Responsibility to teach the men and instruct them in the covenants.  

Comment:  One of the brothers told me that when Elder Dyer was mission president he told the missionaries to be insistent and aggressive, even to the point of being obnoxious.  He tripled and quadrupled baptisms.  A local businessman brother said he received complaints, “Call them (the missionaries) off.  They’re not polite.”  Elder Dyer’s reply: “Brother, which would you prefer—300 baptisms and have complacency and peace, or 1,500 baptisms and a few complaints?”

[LJA Diary, 10 Aug., 1975]

[Asian Area Conference report] Paul Dunn says Duff Hanks did not know in advance of his change from Seventy to Assistant to the Council of Twelve, that he was completely surprised, that he regarded it as a demotion–moved from a quorum to assistant to a quorum, theoretically from a lifetime appointment to one which is not necessarily a lifetime appointment. Says he did not request a move from the Council of Seventy. Says the Council is giving serious thought to constituting the first Quorum. Says President Lee asked him (Paul) and others who should be appointed Church Historian after they decided to replace Howard Hunter. He inferred that everyone asked recommended me. 

[LJA Diary, 19 Aug., 1975]

Last night Grace and I were invited to the Sterling Sills’ for dinner, at their home on 1242 East Yale Avenue.  A lovely home, with a wooded backyard or “forest.”  Said they had been in that home 40 years.  Also at the dinner were: Theodore and Minnie Burton, Franklin D. and Helen Richards, ElRay and Luella Christiansen, and Joseph and Norma Anderson.  It was an interesting evening for us since all were General Authorities and Assistants to the Twelve but us. . . .

We learned that many, if not all, the General Authorities still do home teaching and have regular assignments from their quorums. Also that it was relatively recent, perhaps under President McKay, that church procedures provide for passing the Sacrament first to the presiding authority. Also that President Grant, in the meetings in the temple, upon being offered the Sacrament first, passed it first to his first counselor, then to his second, then partook himself, to show that they were equals. Shows the progressive institutionalization of the position of Prophet.

[LJA Diary, 3 Sep., 1975]

Yesterday I attended the annual meetings of the Utah State Historical Society held at Snow College in Ephraim.  Drove Davis Bitton down with me.  We attended the Utah Folklore Session, Richard Poulsen of BYU as Chairman. . . .

Second paper, William A. (Bert) Wilson, BYU, on The Legend of the Three Nephites.

Started out with a Sanpete story. People remember the old Sanpete Creeker. The sole passenger a woman, far along into pregnancy. It goes slowly. She gets nervous. Finally, she told the conductor, “We’ve got to get to the station. It’s taking so long I might have my baby before we get there.” The conductor remonstrated with her, “You really shouldn’t have gotten on. You knew you were in this condition; you shouldn’t have taken the risk.” The woman replies: “But I was not in this condition when I got on the train!”

When Fife, Lee, and Hand wrote the first accounts of the Three Nephites in 1938-1940, they assumed that the legends were on the decline. But Bert finds the legend very much alive. Lots of new stories which aren’t simply survivals of earlier stories. Ogden Kraut, in his recent book on the Three Nephites, accepts that there is a decline and says it is because of the decrease in faith. Bert has recently gotten 611 new Nephite stories from 604 informers. Of these, 462 were new accounts–not variants of older stories. Ruling out 95 which one could not determine the precise time the visitation occurred, he found 177 related to events that took place before 1925 and 190 to events that occurred after 1925. Hector Lee had interpreted the stories as the survival in modern times of earlier experiences. But Wilson finds it is more than that. These stories, as with all folklore, not only give insight in reconstructing the past, but also assist in understanding what is going on today. The stories mirror the problems of the Mormons today. They show the Mormon mind has concerns today which are illustrated by the events related.

One group of stories, Lee had written, dealt with the inadequacies of pioneer medicine. At a time when no doctors were available, persons were healed by one of the Nephites. These stories are still being told today. The Nephite may bless the person (no Priesthood being around), or may apply the techniques of modern medicine. One story dealt with a Nephite who applied artificial respiration and saved a person’s life. Historically, the Nephite helped during blizzards, famine, and protection from the Indians. Bert finds stories of Nephites helping during snowstorms, temporary hunger, and protecting the Indians from the whites. Lots of stories about rescuing missionaries from various circumstances. Shows the Lord still looking after their son or daughter away in a foreign land, or even nearer home. On modern highways a car breaks down; the people need to get to the temple to do their work; pretty soon two men show up to offer help.  They perform some simple operation on the car; push it on; and then disappear. These stories comfort mourners, clarify gospel teachings. The setting was traditionally the country; it now shifts to the city.

Certain themes are very popular:

1. Genealogical research. Someone is helped by one of these. 2. Missionary work. Helping the missionaries avoid trouble, make converts. 3, Welfare

4. The-Arab-Israeli conflict. Helping the Jews go back to Jerusalem.

The stories testify to the validity of Church programs, endow the programs with mystical values.

Bert says Latter-day Saints usually believe these stories. They don’t like the stories being called folklore. Bert seems them as being faith-promoting narratives primarily, although there are undoubtedly some that involve entertainment. In testimony meetings, in funerals, in spiritual Sacrament meetings, they are usually told, and seem more believable there than they do out in the open air, the real world, afterward. They are for spiritual edification. For Bert, it is not important whether they are true or not–they carry a useful message or convey an understanding of a modern concern. Most people, when asked about the story, refuse to say whether they believe it or not. They don’t care whether or not it is true if it testifies of the reality of the world of spirits.

Third Paper, Woodruff Thompson, BYU, on Sanpete County Stories

The undertaker busy during the flu epidemic of 1919. Lots of people dying. He remarks to a friend, “Why people are dying now who have never died before.”

Ephraim called Little Denmark or Little Copenhagen. 90 percent of the people Danes. The bishop calls on Bro. Peterson to come up and give the closing prayer. Half the men arise, “No, I meant Bro. Peter Peterson.” Three sit down.

Advice to young men. Marry a girl from Sanpete; no matter how bad her circumstances in the future, she has always seen worse!

Remark about Elders Pratt and Teasdale, apostles, visiting. By slight switch of sounds, comes out, in Danish,”E1ders blabbermouth and close mouth.”

He classified the stories into three: (1) of doubtful authenticity; (2) those which are almost certainly authentic; (3) Those which may not be authentic but which are in the spirit of Sanpete County humor.

“You can’t believe half the damn lies you hear nowadays.”

A sister arose to her feet in testimony meeting. Appreciated her health. No doubt due to her obedience to Word of Wisdom. Didn’t smoke, drink, drink coffee, etc. So her stomach in good shape. A brother in the congregation who tipples occasionally, occasional cigars, occasional coffee rises to protest. Says he does all of this and he hadn’t seen any bad effects on his health. In fact, “I’ll put my stomach up against Sister Sorenson’s any day.”

Sister Nielson not getting along with others. Someone says she’s unbearable. The other said that not a proper word; she’s inconceivable; no that not proper, should call her impregnable.

J. Golden Kimball visiting there. Holding a trial for a brother accused of committing adultery with Sister Jensen while her husband away on a mission. They question him. Did you visit Sister Hansen? Yes. To help her. Did you sometimes stay all night? Yes. To look after the water and start the fire. Brother, you were seen in bed with her. True, but I just wanted to warm her feet. And so on. Finally, J. Golden could take no more of this. Says, “I move we excommunicate this brother. It is clear that he does not have the seed of Israel in him.”

Holding a trial for a habitual drinker. How come you always lose, Soren? Because they keep asking me about how much whiskey I drank. They never ask how thirsty I was.

Having beef ribs and some of grandma’s mustard. Someone takes a big bite, not realizing how strong it will be. He gasp out, “Quick, save my eyes; my mouth and nose are already gone.”

A marriage ceremony. Do you take this man to love honor and support? Do you take this woman to love honor and obey even when you don’t want to? Then I pronounce you “Father and Mother in Israel.”

Man is boasting in testimony meeting of his many blessings. He was poor and lonely when he came to Zion, but now has 3 wives, 3 cows, 3 sons, and a barrel of molasses; “And I am sure the Lord has had a hand in it.”

Merchant-bishop bears testimony of efficacy of prayer. I know the Lord hears prayers. Went to get a load of quaking aspen pales. On way back, got to the top of the hill. Ahead the steep dugway. Ready to put the brake on but sees the brake shoe has dropped, so won’t have enough breaking. Decides to jump off. Then wonders, what if someone coming up road; will be killed; horses may be killed. Wagon may be destroyed. So prays no one will be coming up road, for the horses, for the wagon. They go down hill and finally come to rest at a knoll.  Finds no one injured, horses fine, wagon fine. But some of harness broke.  And that was because I didn’t pray for the harness also as I should have done!

Sisters listening to conference. Get thirsty and decide to drink some coffee from the pot which has been boiling. Then listen to Heber J. Grant give a sermon cautioning the Saints strongly not to drink coffee. Has a dampening effect on the sisters. Should we quit drinking coffee? Maybe we should drink Kaffee Hag Coffee. Other says, “If I am going to sin, I would rather sin with Hills Brothers.”

Sister shopping for coat at ZCMI. Sees a nice one. Asks how much. $49. But brother, I was just over at Auerbach’s and they had one just like this and it was only $33. Yes, he says, but the label here says this is made of 100 percent pure virgin wool. She says, “What difference does it make how the sheep are behaving themselves?”

They ask Leadpencil Peterson to pray to the Lord for rain. “Lord, we’ve had a very bad drouth, one of the worst we have ever had. The potatoes are wilting, the cows are not giving enough milk, and so on. And Lord, send the rain gently. No cloudbursts, no hailstorms. And Lord, if you will do this it will be an advantage to you as well as to us because if we don’t get a good crop we won’t be able to pay any tithing to you.”

[LJA Diary, 13 Sep., 1975]

Elder Sterling Sill told me that he asked President McKay if there was anything he had ever done which had displeased President McKay. President McKay said there was only one thing which he recalled which had displeased him. He said, “Shortly after your appointment you gave a speech in Bountiful or somewhere in which you recommended to the Saints a book which I didn’t like.” Brother Sill said, “What in the world could that have been?” President McKay said, “You recommended to the Saints Joseph Fielding Smith’s book, Man, His Origin and Destiny and I frankly did not like that book–it did a great deal of harm.” Elder Sill went ahead to say that he was giving a talk to the Saints in which he was telling them how important it was to read books–and what a delight to be able to share the inner thoughts of people by reading books they wrote, and he said he used as an example, Man, His Origin and Destiny. He said, “For instance, I can find out what Brother Smith thinks about all these matters by reading his book–I don’t know whether the earth was created 8,000 years ago, 13,000 years ago, 500,000 years ago, or 3 million years ago or just when–that isn’t the point. The point is that by reading this book, I can find what Brother Smith thinks about these matters and so this is one of the advantages of reading books of this nature.”

That comment of Brother Sill helps to reinforce other evidence which we have that President McKay did not like Man, His Origin and Destiny–did not like the dogmatism with which Brother Smith insisted upon his presentation of the scriptures–felt the evidence pointed to a far longer origin to the earth than Brother Smith was willing to accept.

[LJA Diary, 31 Oct., 1975]

In response to my questioning President Wilkinson said that as Chancellor of the Unified Church School System he and his associates were concerned that percentage registration in classes at the University of Utah Institute were way below those at other Institute.  Percentage-wise, far below that at Logan (Utah State University), Berkeley (Univ. of Calif.), Ogden (Weber), Cedar City (SUSC), Pocatello (ISU) and elsewhere. Wilkinson had expressed that concern on several occasions to Lowell Bennion, director of the University of Utah Institute, but nothing had been done about it. Finally Wilkinson called in Dr. Bennion, reviewed the experience elsewhere, said he and his advisors were gravely concerned that a program be developed to encourage LDS students at the University of Utah to attend the Institute. He made a number of suggestions based on what other Institutes had done or were doing. Various kinds of promotions. Said he thought these should be tried. Said it was important to the LDS students at the Institute that they partake of the offerings of the Institute. It would help them in adjusting to their secular courses and to life. Dr. Bennion said he did not agree with the “promotional approach”–the Institute was there, if students wanted to come over, fine. If not, they have their free agency. He said he would not advertise, would not try to build up enrollment. Wilkinson said, “But this is what we think you must do.” “Well, I don’t agree, and I would refuse to institute such a program. I just believe in doing things that way.” President Wilkinson said, “Well, I’m afraid we’ll have to insist that it be done and if you refuse to do it we’ll have to release you as director and get another director who will do it.” “Dr. Wilkinson, I feel so strongly about this, you’ll just have to release me.” So Dr. Wilkinson then released him as director. Dr. Wilkinson insists that the release had absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Bennion’s views on the Church’s Negro policy, a rumor current at the time. He also insists that Dr. Bennion was only released  as director–he was then on the same basis as Ed Lyon and other teachers in the Institute and quite free to carry on as a teacher and advisor, and presumably no salary cut. But Lowell couldn’t take the demotion. He had to make more of it than there was. He took the job as Assistant Dean of Students at the University of Utah and ultimately went to Community Services Council. Dr. Wilkinson says it was a pity we lost him to the Institute system; he was a fine teacher, fine writer, good advisor, popular with students. But he was not a satisfactory administrator and that’s what was needed.

Or. Wilkinson replaced him with Joe Christensen and within six months attendance at the University of Utah Institute had doubled and within a year tripled, he thinks. So he thinks it was a wise replacement based on the augmented service to LDS students at the University of Utah.

[LJA Diary, 6 Nov., 1975]

On Friday, October 31, 1975, Grace and I were driven to the airport by Davis Bitton and took off for Palm Springs, California. We were met at the airport by Dr. and Mrs. Ernest Wilkinson and drove to their home 2617 Jacaranda Road, Palm Springs 92262. We remained there until Saturday, November 8, when they drove us to the airport and we returned to Salt Lake City. We remained there a week and one day.

The purpose of going there was for me to work with President Wilkinson on the Centennial History of BYU. I read drafts of the chapters for volume 3 each day–from roughly 5 am to 9 pm with the exception of meals, visits, etc. and Sunday. On Sunday we went to High Priests meeting, Sunday School, and Fast Meeting. One evening we had a visit from William (Bill) Geddes and his wife. Another evening from June and Avon Rich Smart and their daughter and son-in-law, the Sweets. We also had a nice chat on Friday with Clair Stout, brother of Reed Stout, who was in Washington,D.C. for many years and is a neighbor of Roland Rich Woolley. Also one with Lorin and Barbara Moench, and their daughter and son-in-law, Rodney and Bobby Snow. We also became acquainted with others in Palm Springs. We took out an hour just before lunch each day to swim in the pool near the Wilkinson condominium and to get some sun. This was good for Grace, who seemed to get much better. We also saw the George Eyres. She is Afton Crowley Eyre, sister of Ariel Crowley. She had a reminiscence of her father, Clarence Crowley, dated Sept. 1, l899, of his visit to the Arringtons in Tennessee, and of baptizing Aunt Sis. “You caint read Mormonism out of my Bible.” said Grandpa’s mother! She will send me a xerox of the excerpt from the journal, and will encourage Arid to send me a xerox from the original diary from which it was written.

Dr. Wilkinson and I agreed to make 4 volumes of the BYU history. We finished the manuscript for volume 3, 14 chapters, and it was ready Saturday to mail to Roy Bird. Preliminary drafts of volume 4 sent to Bruce Hafen. 

Having lived with Ernest and Alice Wilkinson for a week, here are a few observations. First, it is clear that President Wilkinson is a very bright man. He is a clever observer of human nature, he understands consequences and anticipates them, he is imaginative in working out means and ends, he is perceptive in work and conversation. He is prejudiced, to be sure, or biased, or has a particular set of values that do not equate with those of the majority of intellectuals. But he is very bright–of that there is no doubt. Second, he is a hard worker. He puts himself into a cause and works for it long and hard and effectively. While he cannot do it today, it is obvious that he has put himself into his work to the extent of up to 20 hours per day. He not only works but knows how to work. Third, he is sincere. He believes in what he does, and believing in what he has done and is doing he is not above intrigues to accomplish them.  This is to his credit since he could not have achieved his desirable goals without some intrigue, and without loading the scales in his favor by “lawyers’ evidence.” Fourth, one sees two kinds of Ernest Wilkinson. The public Wilkinson is firm, bull-doggish, belligerent, hard, suspicious and serious. The private Wilkinson is friendly, accommodating, full of good humor, hopeful, dedicated, considerate, compassionate.

Alice Wilkinson is long-suffering, gracious, ladylike, a little formal, loyal, accommodating. She has obviously had a tough life, since her ideas, goals, and activities, are subordinated to the wishes of her husband who has been demanding, sometimes thoughtless and inconsiderate, sometimes perhaps even cruel.

The two of them have reared fine children.

Suffice it to say, Grace and I developed a good deal of affection for each of them. We spent as long as an hour or two at the table talking about people and history and the Church, and much of every evening. A very pleasant and profitable week with two people that we very much admire. 

[LJA Diary, 9 Nov., 1975]

Two or three other items based on notes I took in Palm Springs. Somebody was with Jesse Evans Smith, and she suddenly turned to them and asked, “Do you know the phone number in the Garden of Eden?” “No, I didn’t know they had telephones.” “It wouldn’t be the Garden of Eden if they didn’t–Adam-8-1-2.”

Elder J. Golden Kimball and B. H. Roberts were intimate associates. Each was probably the best friend of the other. When Elder Roberts died the family and ecclesiastical officials didn’t want J. Golden to speak at the funeral for fear he might tell some incriminating story about Brother Roberts, but since he was such a close friend, they couldn’t very well overlook him, so they asked him to dedicate the grave. When they got to Centerville where he was to be buried, the cemetery wasn’t in very good shape. When they called on him to dedicate the grave, he walked first in one direction looking hard and then in another direction and finally said, “This is a hell of a place to bury a damn good man.” It was so obviously true that the next day the mayor and city council of Centerville met and appropriated all the money left in the treasury to fix up the cemetery. Elder Roberts was a very emotional man. One day his associates found him walking back and forth in his office, tears streaming down his face. Very concerned they asked what was the matter. He said he was just wishing he could go back to see his home in Wales.

Elder Roberts enjoyed the ceremony of religious and civic life. One of the ceremonies he most enjoyed was the parade of the National Guard in Salt Lake City after America had entered World War I. Shortly after the parade the National Guard left for service. Brother Roberts was the chaplain. He stood straight and tall and enjoyed every minute of this parade. 

There was tension in the Roberts’ home and this tension helps to explain why his children left the Church. Some of them joined other churches. One of the things they didn’t like was him taking the Shipp woman, his third wife, back with him when he was president of the Eastern States Mission.

Simon Bamberger, governor of Utah, elected in 1916, was of course German Jewish and spoke with a rather heavy accent and was very friendly toward Mormons. In fact he referred to himself as the “president of the Hebrew stake of Zion.”

J. Golden Kimball was once visiting Ogden Stake along with two Smiths. The Smiths had managed to put everybody to sleep, and he was anxious to wake them up, so he started his sermon with some questions: “Anybody here that never tasted coffee?” Two old patriarchs in the back stood up. “Anybody here never tasted tobacco?”–same two patriarchs stood up. “Anybody here never had a good slug of whiskey?” Same two patriarchs stood up. “Well brothers and sisters, I guess my sermon must be directed to all of you except these two older brethren in the rear, and my principle remarks to them is, “you sure have missed a lot!” With everybody now awake and feeling a sense of guilt, he gave them a beautiful sermon on the Word of Wisdom.

As a student at the University of Deseret, B. H. Roberts walked all the way from Centerville to Salt Lake City every day. He wore homemade clothes–and not very good ones at that. Some of the students taunted him for the old farm clothes he wore. This continued for some days until he had stood it all he could. Finally someone started making remarks to him about it and he tore into him with all of his energy. He just about killed the poor fellow. They had to take him to the hospital and have a lot of repair work done on him. Query: Could that have been the occasion which caused him to be disfellowshipped from the 13th Ward?

Mrs. Barbara Moench told me she had heard that Alice Smith McKay was the daughter of a wife of Joseph F, Smith and that she was daughter by a first husband whose name was Charles C. Rich. If so, this had to be Charles C. Rich, Jr. Apparently he was a rascal and had to go to jail, so she was divorced from him and then married Joseph F. and everybody has attempted to hush up the fact that she had been previously married. Alice is supposed to have been her child by the first husband and was promptly adopted by Joseph F. and not told she was adopted. She learned later in college from friends that she had been adopted and she felt to rebel against her parents for not telling her. Apparently this rebellion against her parents and to some extent against life upon learning her adopted status was one factor that caused her to write the kind of thesis she did on Mormonism at the University of Utah under Levi Edgar Young. This is something I ought to check out with someone. 

[LJA Diary, 10 Nov., 1975]

Coming back from Palm Springs we met at the airport Brother and Sister Isaac Stewart. For many years he had been president of the Tabernacle Choir. Occupationally he was vice president of Union Carbide, and he still serves as one of their consultants. I learned either from him or from Ernest Wilkinson that when President Clark became a member of the First Presidency, he was concerned that KSL was not being run efficiently. Apparently it had been run by Max Glade and another person whose name I don’t recall. It was losing money and President Clark wished to put it in the black and have it make a greater impact on the region.

President Clark asked his son-in-law, Ivor Sharp, who was an engineer for Bell Telephone Labs, to return and run the station. Ivor Sharp and his wife, Maryann Clark Sharp, were happy in New Jersey in the ward there. He was happy with his job and he did not relish the job of running KSL, and so he responded in the negative. After a few weeks President Clark urged him again to accept the position. He turned it down a second time. After a few weeks President Clark then urged him in the strongest language to accept the position, and being a son-in-law he couldn’t very well defy his father-in-law, so he reluctantly accepted. Perhaps the primary motive in asking him to return to Salt Lake City and to accept the position may have been the desire to have his daughters back close to him. At any rate, he did end up with both his daughters and son-in-laws living on the same block with him here in Salt Lake City. Shortly after their arrival, Sister Sharp was made a counselor in the presidency of the Relief Society under Belle Spafford, and she retained that position until this past year when Sister Spafford and the Relief Society presidency were all released.

Brother Sharp did not particularly like the job of manager of KSL and according to the reports I have heard, he was not temperamentally suited to the job. He was a fine engineer but not the business manager type—above all, not the promoter type and in fact most of the promotion of KSL has occurred after his death when Arch Madsen was appointed. Brother Sharp did not particularly like to be with people and did not like the selling angle that was required of a KSL director. Nevertheless, he stuck to the job because his father-in-law wanted him there. It is possible that many of the key decisions during his administration were made by President Clark himself and maybe that was one of President Clark’s motives. He realized the importance of KSL and wished to be certain that he had strong personal influence on it, and he apparently did exercise such influence with KSL just as he did with the Deseret News during his period in the First Presidency. 

[LJA Diary, 11 Nov., 1975]

Grace and I went to Cannon-Hinckley this evening and heard interesting talks by Jim and Gloria Brown about their experiences with the Gerald Ford family. We sat at the same table with Olive Kimball Mitchell and her husband (she’s a niece of President Kimball), Fern and Harvey Fletcher of BYU (she was formerly married to Carl Eyring), and Ray and Elva Olpin. Interesting conversation.

Fern and Elva said they remembered Susa Young Gates. She was an outstanding woman, they admitted, but nobody liked her. She was too loud, too officious, too pushy, too imperious, too crude, too aggressive. Too much the woman libber type, they said. She was a vegetarian, they said. When invited to a banquet, she took along a little paper bag with raw carrots and other things to eat. She liked natural foods, like her daughter Leah Widtsoe. She liked to talk, talked too long, was very anxious to give her opinion and her advice. They remembered her speaking to the girls at BYU and telling the single girls to get married. The principal object of life. Susa’s daughter Emma Lucy Gates Bowen was something like her mother, just as Eudora Durham has some of her qualities. But Leah Widtsoe was very ladylike.

I asked Olive Kimball Mitchell, who teaches English at BYU, what she taught. Her “special” class now is Indian literature, which she is teaching for the second year to about 20 students, about half Indians and half not. She has them read novels about Indian life by Waters, Momaday, DeLoria, and others; Indian myths; Indian narratives of events; Indian orations; and Indian poetry. She is going to send me some samples of the latter.

I asked Olive about the reaction of the Kimballs to the J. Golden book by Tom Cheney. Basically very favorable, she said. She knew Uncle Spencer Kimball liked it, enjoyed it. She likes biographies that tell about the whole man, warts and all. Thinks she will approve of my Edwin Woolley. Thinks Uncle Spencer will not object. He doesn’t object when people tell J. Golden stories.

President Olpin said that he and wife, Homer Durham and wife, etc., were at an affair at which President Wilkinson was also invited.  As soon as the girls saw him coming they removed their rings and got prepared for his bone-crushing handshake and jerking them forward.  Eudora tried to avoid shaking hands with him, but he grabbed her and just about cracked her hand.  She then lifted her shoe with high heels and put it down squarely on his feet.  That night he had his first heart attack.  She wondered if her action had any influence.

[LJA Diary, 18 Nov., 1975]

The Church lost two of its stalwarts this week: Elder Hugh B. Brown and Elder ElRay L. Christiansen. Elder Christianson was the one who married Mamma and I in the Logan Temple, and was one of our stake presidents for several years. President Brown offered intellectual affinity to many of us, and was one of the most eloquent orators in the history of the Church. I attended Elder Brown’s funeral service in the Tabernacle this afternoon. Elder Christiansen’s was yesterday in the Assembly Hall. President Kimball seemed a little weak today, but his mind was sharp and alert, and he radiated his usual friendliness and smile and confidence. Principal speakers at the Brown funeral were Marvin Ashton, Eldon Tamer, Ed Firmage, and Prest. Kimball, About 6,000 in attendance. For the first time in recent times, the First Presidency ordered the Church Office Building closed down hi from 11:30 am through the rest of the day, in honor of Prest. Brown. 

[LJA to Children, 5 Dec., 1975; LJA Diary]

I wish to record in my diary in case I have not done so previously a bit of historiographical information.  The Kish Kumen Cooper who wrote Sex and Violence in the Days of Brigham Young was really the late E. Cecil McGavin.

[LJA Diary, 12 Jan., 1976]

Tuesday night Mamma and I went to Cannon-Hinckley Church History Club.  Heard Homer Durham speak on the Founding Fathers.  Outstanding talk.  He is retiring this summer as Utah’s Commissioner of Higher Education.  He will be replaced by Ted Bell (former professor of Education at USU and an Idaho native), who is now U. S. Commissioner of Education.  Also Neal Maxwell has resigned as Church Commissioner of Education to concentrate more fully on his ecclesiastical duties.  He will be replaced by Jeff Holland, new Dean of Religion at BYU, and only 35.  Jeff is a great person, graduated from Yale with a Ph.D. in American Studies.  Replacing Jeff as Dean of Religion at BYU is Ellis Rasmussen, an ancient scripture (Bible) specialist.

[LJA to Children, 23 Apr., 1976; LJA Diary]

This morning Frank Jonas and his wife came in. He can’t drive a car any longer and so his wife is his chauffeur. She is the sister of Ralph Thompson and a member of the Tabernacle Choir for many, many years. She said that all members of the Choir were very upset with the release of Jay Welch and feel that whatever transgression he had been involved in he surely has repented many, many times and quite sincerely, and if we are Christian we ought to acknowledge that and put him back in the Choir. She said while the Choir members all like Jerry they recognize that Jay is one of the very top persons in the United States and could take the Tabernacle Choir to any level. 

[LJA Diary, 21 Jan., 1977]

Note on two things: First, I believe there should be a separate paragraph in the Italy chapter telling about our New Year’s Eve party in Rome. I have the impression that I have written that up somewhere already, and if so you probably already have it. In any case, I think the party is sufficiently different from New Year’s Eve parties in the United States that it would be of interest to readers. The children particularly as they read the history will be interested because they have only vague memories of what took place. If you cannot find anywhere an account of it either in a letter or a diary entry, let me know and I will give Nedra a dictation.

The other item is to be sure to include in the chapter that deals with the more recent period a paragraph or two or three on the sex education study for Logan City schools. I am enclosing in this packet the records that I have of that. You will not remember it, but early in 1969 the John Birch Society and other conservative groups began a national campaign against sex education in the schools in the United States. The strength of the John Birch movement, particularly in Provo, led to a campaign to remove sex education from the schools in Utah. This was reinforced to some extent by sermons in April 1969 General Conference–sermons by Ezra Taft Benson, Mark E. Petersen, and Alvin Dyer. These sermons implied to many people that the Church favored moving all sex education from the schools into the home. One result of that was that a group of LDS sociologists and family life professors met with Elder Dyer, who was then a member of the First Presidency, to present to him the point of view of professional educators. Brother Dyer agreed to meet weekly with such a group and their meetings went through April and May and eventually resulted in a program whereby stakes having suitable professional  people were encouraged to appoint such persons as special consultants to the bishop in counseling. I know that we set up such a program in our USU stake with Wayne Wright, head counselor at USU, as our chief advising counselor. He met once a month with our bishops to give them instruction and help in counseling ward members. In other words, something good and lasting cane out of these sessions with President Dyer, who was willing to listen to professional advice.

In the meantime, citizens’ groups demanded of Logan boards of education the right to be heard and there was a real flare-up in Ogden where the John Birch types really put the heat on the board to remove all sex education from Ogden schools. Foreseeing problems in Logan, the Logan City Board of Education appointed a committee of 15 representative citizens. These included businessmen, housewives, LDS, non-LDS, and so on. Really a committee of leaders. I was a member of the committee representing, I suppose, the university community. When we held our first meeting I was elected the chairman of this group. We met weekly for a period of about three months. I kept elaborate notes and records and then prepared a draft of a report, and with a few changes here and there the report was officially recommended by the community, presented to the board which accepted it fully, and then it was decided to publish it. This report was circulated to other boards of education in other communities, and I have reason to believe that it calmed the storm in Utah and was supported by leading citizens in many communities as a middle-of-the-road kind of approach. This report will help to suggest some of my writing style in a field completely outside of history and economics. Relevant papers are here included and, as I say, you may want to put in two or three paragraphs about it. Grace’s only important community assignment was the chairman of the citizens’ committee  to get a bond election passed to build the municipal swimming pool in Logan. That was a success. The only significant community assignment that I had was this sex education committee, so I think you ought to give a little attention to each of the two. 

[LJA Diary; Information for Becky, 3 Feb., 1977]

A few reflections on conference. Ever more “foreign” people at conference. Lots of stakes and wards in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and lots of them in attendance. The conference crowds are more cosmopolitan. But no gestures in their direction by having prayers in a different language or sermons. Most of those giving prayers were non-Americans or minorities. For the first time ever there were two days of orientation after conference for the new general authorities. Three new authorities, Richard Scott a physicist of Washington, D.C., Homer Durham that you all know, and Jim Paramore the former mission president at Brussels who has been secretary of the Quorum of Twelve. All good appointments except there should be a Mexican and/or Brazilian. They are proud people and should be given recognition soon or they’ll think it’s a Yankee church. 

[LJA to Carl & Chris, 9 Apr., 1977]

Elder [Sterling] Sill said that when he was appointed by President McKay he asked President McKay about carrying on his business. President McKay encouraged him to do so and he did. He was called in for an interview one time by President Moyle, who wanted to appoint him to he president of a mission in California. He said he would be glad to if President McKay would approve after he mentioned a business obligation he had. He went to President McKay and explained the business obligation, and President McKay told him to complete the business obligation first. He then went to President Moyle and told him that, that this business obligation would require several months. He says President Moyle regarded this as an insult to him and disloyalty to the Church to put business first, and President Moyle for the rest of his life held it against Elder Sill, that he had “refused” to serve as mission president. This word apparently got around to some other General Authorities, and Elder Sill feels that there are some who feel that Brother Sill hasn’t been completely devoted to the Church. He feels justified in his own mind, however. 

[LJA Diary, 11 Nov., 1977]

Brother T. Quentin Cannon came to see me this morning to get a memorandum I had prepared on the Staines-Devereaux House. He was very grateful for the information and then told me three anecdotes which he said were a part of history and yet could never be a part of recorded history.

When he was in the State Senate he received a call from Jim Faust and Gordon Hinckley to come to the office building. He told Brother Hinckley that they were not calling him to come to the Church Office Building. He was going there and would drop by to see them (he thinks there is an important distinction– it doesn’t look good for a legislator to be called down to the Church Office Building). When he arrived they told him that people were talking about horse racing in Utah and that the brethren wanted him to prevent it. He said he told Brother Hinckley and Brother Faust that he had been a member of the Church longer than they had, that he believed he had as good a testimony of the Gospel as they did, and he believed he had as good an understanding of the point of view the Church would take on this matter as they would, and that he had already determined to fight the measure and then proceeded to outline what he planned to do. He then asked them if they had any suggestions or additional things. They replied that they had none and that he had contemplated some things that they had not even thought of. Some time later Brother Faust was in a conversation with a friend of Quentin Cannon’s and Quentin’s name came up. Brother Faust then told him of this experience and was chuckling as he told it, for he seemed to be very pleased with this kind of an attitude.

Several years ago Quentin was Vice-chairman of the County Board of Education. Chairman was Virgil Smith of Beneficial Life. Virgil was at the time Stake President. The Church was trying to get the Federal Building built on North Temple where the Lafayette School was located. So they had used their influence with some members of the Board of Education to get the county or city to move the Lafayette School from North Temple to the hill. Under this arrangement the Church would acquire the Lafayette School and the Church would then make this available to the General Services Administration for building the Federal Building. The Church felt it would increase the value of their own properties to have the Federal Building located nearby. The Church lobbied and lobbied with the Board of Education mentors to get them to agree to move the school so the Church could take it over. Since Cannon was Vice-chairman of the Board of Education he had already expressed his view that it would be wrong to move the school up on Capitol Hill. While there were children of parents on Capitol Hill that would have to come down hill and back up hill in carrying their children back and forth, there were far more students who were living west of town, and they included a good number of Chinese and Japanese. Cannon was called on the telephone by Virgil Smith who asked if he could come to his office for a few minutes. Yes, of course. When he arrived there were present Virgil, LeGrand Richards, and M. Lynn Bennion, Superintendent of Schools in Salt Lake. Brother Richards said, “Bishop Cannon. The Church wants to acquire this school and for it to do so the Board will have to vote to move the school, and we want you to support this move.” Brother Cannon said that he had already decided that he would vote against moving the school, that he would continue to do so, and then he gave his reasons. He said that was final and he could not change his opinion. Brother Richards then said that the brethren were in favor of moving the school and that in view of this strong wish of the brethren he, Brother Richards, thought that he, Cannon, should change his mind and fall in line. Brother Cannon said he would do one thing. If Virgil would hand him a piece of paper he would write out his resignation as a member of the Board of Education and therefore there wouldn’t be his opposing vote. They said no, they didn’t want him to do that. They wanted him to think it over and expressed the hope that he would decide to fall in line. A few days later Quentin received another telephone call from Virgil and went to his office. He found Virgil, Brother Thorpe lsaacson and M. Lynn Bennion. Brother Isaacson started right out in his crude and gruff manner, “Now Brother Cannon, the Church wants to acquire this for good and sufficient reasons and you are the only objector and we think you ought to do what the Church requires. So we want you to vote in favor of moving the school.” Brother Cannon explained again why he could not do so. Brother Isaacson then used stronger language–quite strong, in fact–seeking to “command” him to fall into line on this matter. Brother Cannon then asked Virgil Smith to give him a piece of paper. He then wrote out on the piece of paper, “I hereby resign as member of the Salt Lake Board of Education.” He then got up and left the meeting. He saw Virgil Smith a day or two later and Virgil Smith told him that they had torn up the sheet of paper after he left and would he please not mention this matter to anybody. He said he wouldn’t mention it to anybody–no reason to. Virgil admitted that there would be “hell to pay” if this should ever get into the open about Church influence.

At the meeting there was the vote on the matter and it turned out to be 8 to 4–and they needed a 2/3 majority. Those voting against it were Glen Culp, the leading Mason in Utah, Esther Landa, the leading Jewess in the city, and President Christensen of Emigration Stake, who had been convinced that Quentin was right in opposing it. Cannon and President Christensen were unhappy being lined up with anti-Mormons. The minority four were having a little discussion of their own since they all felt strongly about it, and Glen Culp suggested they ought to bring this out in the open and have a Mormon-non-Mormon flare-up. Cannon opposed that and managed to talk blue out of it. But some leading anti-Church citizens decided to institute a suit. They were lead by Burton Musser. Cannon had known Burton as he was growing up. The Church had excommunicated Burton’s brother because he had married plural wives. Burton regarded his brother as a far better Christian and a far better Latter-day Saint than he and thought it was unfair for the Church to excommunicate his brother when he, Burton, had relations with a number of women who he didn’t marry. And yet they hadn’t excommunicated him. One day Cannon received a telephone call from President Henry D. Moyle. President Moyle said he wanted him to do something. Cannon asked whether it was business, political, financial, or Church. President Moyle said Church. He said, ‘Tell me what you would like.” President Moyle said he wanted him, Cannon, to visit Burton Musser and persuade him to call off the suit. That it was very important for the Church to make this deal. Cannon said that he knew Burton very well and would agree to visit him. Cannon then visited Burton, and Burton’s reply was, “Why doesn’t the hypocritical son-of-a-bitch come to see me himself.” Cannon went back to President Moyle and reported this. In a few days President Moyle called him again and asked him to go see Brother Musser again. That he, President Moyle, didn’t think he could possibly go see this apostate and unconventional person in his capacity as member of the First Presidency. So Cannon went to see Burton a second time. Once again, Burton said that he didn’t like going through an intermediary. He knew Henry Moyle and Henry Moyle could come to see him himself. “But,” he said, “let me make an alternative suggestion. Henry Moyle owns a building on the southeast corner of First South and State. The Church owns two or three other buildings in that area. If Henry Moyle & the Church will work out that arrangement and locate the Federal Building there I will call off the suit.” Cannon reported this to President Moyle who said that Burton knew very well that he, President Moyle, could not do this because it would look as though he were locating the Federal Building on First South and State so he could sell his building. It just wouldn’t look right; it wouldn’t look honest. He just couldn’t do it and Burton knew he couldn’t do it, President Moyle told Cannon.

A few days later President Moyle phoned Quentin again, asked him to come by the office. He went by, President Moyle met him at the door, and they walked out to his car. They started up South Temple. Quentin thought that they were headed for President Moyle’s home. But at Ninth East he turned south and Quentin then realized that they were headed for Burton Musser’s home. They got to the home, and as President Moyle got out Burton Musser yelled at him, partly with a chuckle, “Well you old son-of-a-bitch! If here isn’t the member of the First Presidency of the Church calling on old reprobate Musser.” President Moyle replied in kind, “Hell, Burton. You knew you would have to make me come here so it would look like a triumph for you.” Anyway, they talked at some length and worked out the arrangement for Moyle to sell his building on First South and State to the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce would then make it available to the federal government as a part of the deal to get the Federal Building on that location. And that way Moyle and the Church were off the hook as far as his building was concerned.

So that is how the Federal Building happened to be constructed where it is on State and First South.

Quentin said that as a part of the discussion Burton accused President Moyle of maneuvering his way into the First Presidency. Burton was envious, jealous, bitter, angry, and he lashed back in an emotional way. He said that President Moyle had gotten into his law firm the sons of two members of the First Presidency–the son of Stephen L. Richards and son of David O. McKay. This called him to the attention of these persons and they in turn had made him managing director of the Welfare Plan and then an apostle and then, of course, he became a member of the First Presidency. So, according to Burton, he was not only well fixed in this life–with all the money he made and with nearly the highest position in the Church–but also with status in the next world.

Brother Cannon said that the full story of this episode has never been told even to Church leaders, and that some Church leaders such as President Lee had always had their doubts about Brother Cannon because he had refused to support the Church in the episode having to do with the construction of the Federal Building. 

[LJA Diary, 6 Jan., 1978]

At the Evan Wright study group that we met with last Sunday, Sister Stark from South Africa, now a genealogist working in Salt Lake City, told us a number of stories, one of which I think deserves putting into the diary. It seems that she had an older friend who had a son who was a member of the security force at BYU. He reported to her that one day they discovered on the edge of the campus the body of a person who had been injured. He was lying down and there were a number of stones around his body. He quickly went to the person and asked him what had happened. It turned out that the person was visiting BYU during the winter break of an eastern university. He was very curious about this Mormon school. He started questioning some of the students and got into conversations, with some of them pretty warm. Anyway, he rebelled against what he thought was a self-righteous attitude on the part of some of the students. And it seems that earlier that day he had gotten into an excited argument with a student. A number of other BYU students, seeing the heated argument, gathered round and pretty soon it was a kind of free-for-all discussion. Finally, the visitor, fed up with their obstinacy on an ethical matter, decided to answer them in a mock-sarcastic way. He yelled out to them, “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone!”

[LJA Diary, 30 Jan., 1978]

Mrs. Seymour Wells telephoned to say that she had the diary of her father, Seldon Erwin Clawson. He was an inventor and was the person who invented the individual sacrament cups. He was a member of the Eighteenth Ward. He also invented a machine to make bandages during World War I and gave the patent to the Red Cross. He did not take out a patent on the individual sacrament cups. Previous to him we had used the challis for the water, and his daughter died of scarlet fever and he was concerned about children drinking out of the challis after people who coughed and had infectious diseases. Telephone number 583-1520, address 337 South 11th East. She said she would give the diary to the Church, and I talked with Don Schmidt about following this up.

[LJA Diary, 21 Feb., 1978]

During an idle moment at conference, I began considering the all-time worst speakers I have ever heard in conference. For the benefit of future historians, here is my list as of this day.

All-time worst: Rudger Clawson

Second: Delbert Stapley

Third: Eldred G. Smith

Fourth: Bernard Brockbank

Fifth: James Cullimore

These are persons who delivered talks poorly and monotonously and whose talks have nothing particularly stimulating or inspiring in content. They are dry talks poorly delivered and almost always in that category. I think they would make great high councilmen. 

[LJA Diary, 3 Apr., 1978]

Dr. M.F. Rigby was in to talk briefly about the history of the Rigby family that is being done by Jessee Embry and Chris Arrington. He told me that when the Ricks College transfer was being considered he had a personal conference with President McKay. President McKay at that time asked him many many questions about Ricks–the students, the faculty, the townspeople, the Church people, the business people, and so on–and then assured him that he had heard some matters misrepresented to him by Dr. Wilkinson and others and he was glad to get the matter straight. He told Dr. Rigby that with the understanding he now had he would be completely opposed to any change in location.

A little later announcement was made that a decision had been reached that Ricks College would be transferred to Idaho Falls. Brother Rigby did not feel it his prerogative to go to President McKay on the matter, but it developed that he had to see President McKay on another matter, and when he had finished this business President McKay was to have left immediately to catch a plane to Los Angeles. President McKay began asking him further questions about Ricks College and insisted that he take the time to sit down and hear the story out. Dr. Rigby says that it developed that two brethren had taken it upon themselves to influence the stake presidents and other interested persons and get them to agree to the proposal to move the college to Idaho Falls. Dr. Rigby used no names, but President McKay asked him to tell the name of the senior Apostle who had telephoned these brethren about the meeting and so on, and Dr. Rigby had informed him it was Elder Mark Petersen. President McKay, according to Dr. Rigby, replied that Elder Petersen had acted without his (President McKay’s) approval or knowledge on this matter. President McKay said, “I have never wanted to move Ricks College to Idaho Falls, and I reluctantly gave my approval only when it came to me as a request from all the Church people involved including those in the Ricks College area. But now that you have informed me that the approval of the Ricks College brethren was obtained under a misrepresentation that I had approved it and wanted their sustaining vote, I shall inform them that the college must not he moved.”

Dr. Rigby emphasized that all the accounts of the Ricks College controversy emphasize that President McKay changed his mind on the subject, that he at first approved the move and then later rescinded that action. The truth is, Dr. Rigby indicated, that President McKay did not change his mind, that he was opposed to the relocation, that some other brethren under the leadership of Dr. Wilkinson had undertaken steps to secure approval of a move to Idaho Falls and that when President McKay learned about this he countermanded the order. Dr. Rigby said that he was instructed by President McKay to write this matter up. He had done so for his journal. He told me that he would make copies of this portion of his personal history and send them to me so that there would be available here and in the archives a “correct” account of this episode. Certainly the story Dr. Rigby tells is different than those told in the chapter in Wilkinson’s history of BYU.

Dr. Rigby also mentioned that he may have done something unique; he may have been the only Mormon who has personally shaken hands with the last three Popes. He was able to do this, he said, because he was a personal friend of the Vatican Surgeon General who had been head of the International Council of Surgeons on which Dr. Rigby had served, and he had been introduced to each of the last three Popes by this surgeon.

[LJA Diary, 25 Apr., 1978]

Last night Grace and I went to dinner with Maxine Greenwood. Also at the dinner were Mr. & Mrs. Elwood Derrick, Mr. & Mrs. Busaith, and a Mr. Timberlin. Mrs. Derrick is a Kimball and a Pomeroy. She is a granddaughter of Solomon Kimball, brother of J. Golden, son of Heber C. She was surprised to learn that I had read his THRILLING EXPERIENCES and articles for the Improvement Era. She furnished Stan Kimball a copy of a holograph letter from Heber C. to Vilate written on the trail in early 1847, which he mentioned in his Des. News article this spring and quotes in his biography of Heber C. She also provided him information on Heber C.’s marriage to the Moon sisters. She said that Solomon was the one who “put Orson F. Whitney up to” doing the biography of Heber C. She likes the Orson F. Whitney book because it gives so much of the spiritual experiences of Heber C. In that respect, she thinks it exceeds the Spencer Kimball biography recently published, which she says doesn’t dwell as much on the spiritual experiences of Spencer. She says that she was told by a Logan Temple worker recently that for years and years the temple work for Emma Smith had not been done. A descendant of Emma who is a member of the Church had requested it two or three times, without success. First, she had asked President McKay, and after considering it for some time (presumably presenting it to the Quorum of the Twelve where Joseph Fielding Smith objected) he told her the time wasn’t yet ripe. She had also submitted that to George Albert Smith with the same lack of success. She made the request again of Joseph Fielding Smith, when he was president. Just a week before his death, Joseph Fielding is supposed to have given his approval, and so the temple work was done. And when the person going through for Emma went through the veil, she heard very distinctly the voice of Joseph Smith saying, “Emma, I am so glad.” Sister Derrick said she understood that Emma was now ready and that this manifestation signified that she accepted of it.

[LJA Diary, 30 Apr., 1978]

When I was in New York City two or three weeks ago I received a telephone call from Bishop Norman Tolk of Morristown Ward, New Jersey, who asked me to speak to his ward. I was unable to accept that appointment, but we chatted on the telephone for a while. Bishop Tolk said that he grew up in Twin Falls, knew Mary Dee very well–was in the same class with her. From Twin Falls he went to Harvard to do graduate work in physics. He later obtained the doctorate in physics from Columbia and served as a professor at Columbia for several years. He was an early supporter of Dialogue and served on the original board of editors. He says he was interviewed by Dialogue on the finding of the Abraham papyri and there is a suggestion in the report of the interview in Dialogue that the account given by Professor Atiya of the University of Utah is incorrect.

Bishop Tolk says that he was “in on” the turning over of the papyri by the Metropolitan Museum to the Church and he had a chance to talk with various museum officials and others. He says that it is absolutely untrue that Professor Atiya found the documents, called then to the attention of the Met, and arranged to have them turned over to the Church. He says the Met knew all along that they had these papyri, that they were of special interest to the Mormons–in other words, that they were the “Book of Abraham papyri” of the Mormons. The officials at the Met thought the discovery of these would not be welcomed by Mormons and so they kept then quiet because they thought the Mormons would (a) demand them; (b) destroy them. So they kept them hidden from the Church in order to  insure their preservation and availability when needed. When Professor Atiya learned of their existence he made such a fuss that the knowledge of them became well known and especially on the part of the Church. So the next tactic of the Met was to get the Church to promise that they would be made available for study and for reproduction, which the Church apparently agreed to do. So the Church upon receiving then promptly turned them over to Hugh Nibley, who studied them. And of course reproductions were also made in the Improvement Era, in Dialogue, and in BYU Studies.

Bishop Tolk says all of the above is known personally by him to be the truth. I asked him to write it up and send a copy for us to place in the archives. He said he would consider doing this. 

[The “Finding” of the Abraham Papyri; LJA Diary, 4 May, 1978]

When I was in Kane, Pennsylvania I discovered that Elder Harold L. Larson, who with his wife is resident missionary in the Information Center and Kane Chapel, had been chauffeur for Heber J. Grant during the last year of his life. Elder Larson is now 75. Elder Larson said that President Grant’s regular chauffeur (presumably LeRoy C. Snow) was getting a little old and crochety, and so they maneuvered to get him, Brother Larson, a seminary teacher in Salt Lake Valley, to drive for President Grant. He told several stories about matters of which he was a witness. He heard President Grant say on one occasion that some people were saying that J. Reuben Clark, Jr., was effective president of the Church at that time because of President Grant’s age and disabilities. President Grant reacted negatively to this, insisted that he have the last word on all policy matters, and boasted that there were more new and fresh ideas generated by him during those last years than at any time in his life.

President Grant used to go riding in his car every Sunday afternoon. He hated to go to Sacrament meetings Sunday afternoon and evening. He would ask Brother Larson to drive him, and if they saw anybody he knew on the porch of the house or in the street he would invite them to go riding with him. On one such occasion they saw Ruth May Fox, president of the Young Women of the Church, and President Grant personally invited her to go riding with him, assuming she would be thrilled to do so. Sister Fox was a little indignant about the request and said that she was going to Sacrament meeting and she was surprised that he would be trying to take people away from Sacrament meeting by inviting them to ride with him instead of going where they ought to be going. 

President Grant had an interview with Timberline Riggs, who had just finished his book, A Skeptic Discovers Mormonism. That evening he asked Brother Larson to read the book to him. He was impressed with the book–with what it said about the Law of Consecration. He reported to Brother Larson the next morning that he had had a dream about that. That morning at breakfast the woman who was serving him was telling about a catastrophe in her family and that they would he unable to meet certain financial obligations. President Grant then said that he had received a dream about this matter and as the result of that he was going to give her $1,000 to help her with this situation. This woman lived in Bountiful.

[LJA Diary, 8 June, 1978]

Elder Hanks told us at the time of the Papanikolas dinner that he had been released as chairman of the youth committee of the Church. He did not say what his new assignment was nor did he give any reason for the release. It is now my understanding that he was released because he was not a good program administrator. He is a marvelously talented speaker–everyone acknowledges that; he is wonderful in human relationships–everyone acknowledges that; and if the administration of the youth committee was simply a matter of personal contact, he would be marvelous for that. But the Church has grown to such a size that an administrator is needed who can go beyond personal relationships and set up programs that would he desirable for the world-wide Church. For this purpose they assigned the new Seventy, Elder Backman, who, everyone says, is an excellent administrator of programs. It is my understanding that Elder Hanks will become an area supervisor. 

Elder Pinnock chose to travel tourist class with me rather than first class.  He said that while there is a general rule that General Authorities ought to travel first class, he preferred to travel tourist class. For one thing, it was cheaper for the Church, for another he usually found better company; finally, by going in the no-smoking section he usually had better protection from cigarette smoke than in first class where anybody chooses to light up wherever he is regardless of the rules. I noticed that Elder Pinnock is more careful to steer his own course than I would be. I am more inclined to be resigned to my fate without making any fuss about it or stirring the waters. I usually accept whatever happens with attempting to improve it. Elder Pinnock, however, wants to be sure in every case that he is following the best course– the best route, the best schedule, the best seating arrangement, and so on. He seems to be always reconsidering whether things could be improved by doing something a little different. This is the kind of self-directed person that makes a great leader, and I an, sure Elder Pinnock is one of these.

Somebody (possibly Elder Pinnock) told me that Steven L. Richards’s brother was a high councilman in Hunter, Utah. About 1970 he died and they had his funeral. Somebody afterwards said that he had seen the deceased person at the family prayer. He mentioned this to another member of the family, and they decided that they should tell the mortician. They went with the mortician to the coffin and opened it and found the body gone and the clothes the body was wearing neatly folded. There was no explanation for all of this. Apparently, they concluded, there was a resurrection at the time. I will have to ask some persons in the Richards family about this.

[LJA Diary, 8 June, 1978]

I suddenly remembered another thing I learned from Elder Pinnock on my trip to Kane, Pennsylvania. I was telling Elder Pinnock about my father having “specialized’ in activating senior Aaronic Priesthood members. I told him the story of asking Jay Merrill, who had been inactive for years and smoked cigars regularly, to be one of his counselors. When the stake president was informed of this he replied, “You can’t have Brother Merrill. He violates the Word of Wisdom,” to which my father replied, “He’s quit,” “When did he quit?” asked the stake president, “The minute you ask him to be my counselor in the bishopric,” replied my father. This was approved and Brother Merrill served with distinction as his counselor, then became a counselor in the stake presidency, then a state legislator.

Elder Pinnock said that this story was similar to that of Elder David B. Haight. Elder Haight had run a business–I think a grocery store–in Stanford, California–or nearby. He had been away from the LDS community for many years. He too smoked cigars with some regularity and took an occasional drink. He had been elected mayor of Stanford. It was at that time that some presiding elder had activated him. He eventually became a bishop, then a stake president, then an assistant to the Twelve, and now of course, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. 

I hadn’t heard anything about this previously and at the first opportunity will ask Karen Huntsman, his daughter, or John Huntsman, her husband, about it.

[LJA Diary, 12 June, 1978]

92 percent returned missionaries stay faithful and active in the Church.

[Mission President’s Seminar; Notes by Nedra Pace, 23 June, 1978]

I learned a story today about Cache Valley. In particular, the North Cache Stake. Max Caldwell was a professor in the Institute of Religion at Logan teaching courtship and marriage, classes in marriage counseling, and so on. He also served as a counselor to President Charles Hyde of North Cache Stake. He made a talk at a stake conference session and said that as he came into the building that day he had a personal revelation that he should tell the people that it was completely wrong to use any form of birth control except abstinence. Even in case of rape, even in case of the probability of a malformed child. These spirits needed those bodies even if they were incorrectly formed. There should be no sexual intercourse except with birth as the intention and end result. He said this very strongly and with much feeling and, as indicated, affirmed it as the result of “a personal revelation which had come to me.”

Many couples in the stake were upset since this represented something different than the teachings of President Kimball and in particular of President McKay. Both President McKay and President Kimball had always suggested there were certain circumstances in which birth control might be proper–for the health of the mother, for the good of the family, etc. Somebody must have complained to a General Authority because President Hyde, who had not objected at the time to the talk, and Brother Caldwell were both called to Salt Lake and told by a General Authority (no indication of whom) that it is not the business of the counselor to a stake president to impart personal revelations to the members of a stake. He is to be a counselor to the stake president and if such instruction is to be given to the stake it must be done by him, not by the counselor. A counselor may give such instruction as he is authorized to do by the stake president, but he should not do it on the authority of personal revelation. Brother Caldwell has now been moved from the Logan Institute and will be teaching religion at BYU. President Hyde has also been released and the new stake president is Clair Batty.

[LJA Diary, 5 July, 1978]

Last night grace and I were invited to meet with Dine Orators, a club of about 100 couples which meets once a month the first Thursday at the homes of various members on a rotating basis. The host and hostess are responsible in each instance for the program. All the members are prominent Church people. We were invited by Brother and Sister George Cannon. George is a patriarch of Parleys Stake and formerly a counselor in the Young Men’s MIA. The meeting was at his hone in Emigration Canyon; rather, summer cabin.

George is the son of George J., who used to be President of Beneficial Life and who married a daughter of President Grant. In the cabin over the fireplace was a large painting of President Grant. On the opposite wall were pictures of his three wives and of each of their children and a family tree. He said during preliminary remarks that the cabin had a certain historic interest. They had invited Ezra Taft Benson to speak to the group at the cabin. Ezra Taft at that time was president of Washington Stake. Apparently he had been offered a very fine job with a top corporation which would pay him far more than he was getting as executive secretary of the National Farmers Cooperative Association. Before he took the job he thought he should get the approval of Church authorities since presumably it would involve his release as president of Washington Stake. So he had made an appointment to see President Grant. President Grant happened to be ill at the time and was in the cabin in bed, so that Brother Benson coming to the cabin served two purposes. He came earlier in the day to get the counsel of President Grant and remained for his talk to the group in the evening. When he went in to see President Grant the latter called him to he an apostle, and so he never even had the opportunity of raising the question of accepting the new position with the corporation. So it was in that cabin in the summer of 1943 that Brother Benson was called to be an apostle. It was at about the same time that President Clark telephoned Spencer Kimball and asked him also to be an apostle. President Kimball was ordained just ahead of Brother Benson and so that explains his seniority in the Quorum. But they were ordained in the same temple meeting. George Cannon had learned of this call from Brother Benson some time prior to his father’s death. His father, George J., who was in the cabin at the time looking after President Grant, said he had never been told that Brother Benson was called there in that cabin. It helps to illustrate how confidential the brethren keep these things. His first news of it was many years later when he was told by his son, George.

[LJA Diary, 7 July, 1978]

Mike Quinn came in this afternoon to tell me, as a matter of advance information for my benefit only, that he would be sustained this coming Sunday as a member of the high council of Emigration Stake. Curiously enough, he says that the regional representative who will be present at that time is Brother Richard Marshall, the father of the Marshall who wrote the famous Marshall paper that got us in so much dutch. He says Davis is a member of that stake, secretary of the high priests quorum; and also Ezra Taft Benson. Ralph Bradley of Bradley Sleep Center is the stake president. Mike was pleased, of course, as the rest of us will be when it is announced publicly. It is wonderful recognition for our historical fraternity to be recognized with important appointments like this. 

[LJA Diary, 18 Aug., 1978]

We learned on the news this evening that Elder Delbert L. Stapley had just died, at the age of 81. He had been an apostle since 1950.

Since he had been an advisor to the Quorum of the Twelve for the Historical

Department, I was in his office many times for meetings and had the opportunity of becoming quite well acquainted with him. Let me leave some personal impressions.

He was a sincere man, without guile. He was an honest man, incapable of deceiving for political, or other purposes. He was direct and to the point. He was a good man.

He was not particularly well-educated, nor sophisticated in thought or experience. Nor was he a man of extraordinary intelligence. He did not always understand complex issues and complicated maneuverings or plans. He was probably the dullest speaker among the General Authorities since Rudger Clawson. He was not imaginative or eloquent. He believed justice was more important than mercy and that the problems of life were relatively clear cut-white and black with little gray. He emphasized loyalty to the Prophet and to the Twelve. He was not capable of large-scale administration, nor was he capable of distinguishing between the Gospel in its purest sense, and American values, or the values which had been instilled into him as a child. Right and wrong were, in his mind, clearly distinguishable.

He was, to summarize, a simple man, a good man, a just person, orthodox in practice and in thought. He merited our respect and admiration but not necessarily our imitation.

The principal preoccupation of Elder Stapley in the past four or fire years, as I knew from personal experience and from reports of others who have had experience with him, has been with keeping church expenditures down. He has thought salaries are too high, the Church has too many employees, too many programs, and spends too much money on them. He has been a voice for fiscal conservatism. 

[LJA Diary, 19 Aug., 1978]

I went to Rotary after the “operation,” which was a mistake, but I wanted to hear the talk by the Jewish rabbi. Basically he was objecting to Mormon seminary released time–because it made the Jewish students feel “out of it.” He was also objecting to our public prayers, and more especially those which close in the name of Jesus Christ. He also objected to Christmas, especially days in school classes when they talked about Christmas. He formally sympathized with a Jewish high school student who had been assigned to give the valedictory address, but when he found that the Mormon boy invited to give the invocation intended to close his prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, the Jewish student was so offended that he refused to show up and did not give the valedictory address. I am glad I went to hear the talk, but it wasn’t good for my bottom.

[LJA to Children, 1 Sept., 1978]

When I was in Ogden on Friday to give my talk to SUP, Bill Critchlow was the president and mentioned one interesting thing to me. He said that Alvin Dyer was a first cousin of Claire Middlemiss and he said that this helps to explain Alvin’s call to be a member of the First Presidency and to be an apostle. It also helps to explain his aggressiveness and forwardness and confidence in functioning as a member of the First Presidency. He also said that Alvin Dyer was a great apple-polisher. 

[LJA Diary, 11 Sept., 1978]

Saturday night at the annual banquet of the Utah State Historical Society, Grace and I were invited to sit at the head table and we sat next to Richard Roberts, head of the Department of History at Weber and a grandson of Brigham H. Roberts. He is a grandson through the second wife of B. H. He told me a number of important and interesting things:

1. That the first wife Louisa did not approve of B.H. taking plural wives, and she was largely alienated from him after he married the second wife. And she brought up her children to be alienated from him. It is his understanding that B. H. did not spend very much time with the first wife and family after the first plural marriage. The first wife more or less left the Church and her children were more or less brought up outside the Church, not only as non-Mormons but in practical respects as anti-Mormons.

2. If this general attitude was not true during the first years of plural marriage, it became definitely true when Roberts married just before the Manifesto, Maggie Shipp. I have the impression he did not have any children by Maggie; she of course carried on her professional career while she was married to him. But he took her with him to New York when he was head of the Eastern States Mission.

3. Richard comes through the second wife and his father is, I think, 89 years old. His father’s family were brought up in the Church and have remained active and loyal. There has been considerable tension between the two families. The first family did not want to associate with the second and have not done so, so there is not really a B. H. Roberts family association.

4. Richard said that at an early stage in the preparation of his “Biography of B. H. Roberts”, Truman Madsen had explained to him what he planned to do in that work. He planned to write an introductory essay on the life of Roberts, then have the Roberts autobiographical work, “Life of B. H. Roberts,” using the first-person pronoun instead of third person. Truman told Richard that the first family did not approve at all of him doing this, but he, Truman, felt that this is what he should do and so he went through the autobiography changing it into first-person pronoun. There would follow a considerable section which presented excerpts from Roberts’ sermons and writings. It seemed clear to Richard that most of the time that Truman had spent on the B. H. Roberts work had been spent working on this third section. It had been quite a task for him to go through everything that Roberts had written and to select memorable quotations and descriptions. It is Richard’s understanding from recent statements by Truman that he plans to be through with the Roberts book by the end of this year. Richard doesn’t know where he plans to publish it.

5. It was a great disappointment to us to learn that Truman had not done, or was not doing, a full-scale biography of Roberts. It had been our understanding all along that he had done so or was doing so. This leaves open the necessity of having a real biography done. Of course Truman could have changed his mind and could be done a biography, but at least the above was Richard’s understanding and if it was being done any differently, he thinks he would have been informed. 

6. Richard thinks that the “problems” which Roberts had throughout his life-and I suppose he is referring to the occasional bouts with liquor–were probably a result of the problems with his family. Certainly the attitude of his first wife would have caused him anguish of soul, and the way he felt he had been treated by some of his brethren might well have done the same.

We have been told by reliable sources that these bouts were not frequent at any stage in his life; perhaps two or three a year. When they occurred they lasted perhaps two or three days. We have heard of only one instance in which this problem was evident, at a time when he visited a quarterly stake conference as an official visitor. This occurred, as we heard, in Rexburg or Idaho Falls or somewhere in that region in the late 1920s. Everybody who has mentioned this “problem” has made clear that it did not interfere with his many and important assignments, and that at no stage had he ever embarrassed the Church. Certainly this seems to be underscored by his enormous output, both in writings and sermons and by his enormous activities–his enormous correspondence, his activities as chaplain of the Utah volunteers and draftees, his association with ministerial and philosophical groups, his presidencies of missions, his active life in politics–the Democratic party. Roberts was almost certainly the most intellectual person in Mormonism from 1880 to 1930. His writings verify this; just to mention one example, The Way, the Truth, and the Life, which is probably the single most brilliant work by a Latter-day Saint mind to this day. 

Roberts was also a fighter–a fighter for honesty, a fighter for the Democratic party, a fighter for the Church, a fighter for Utah, a fighter for fairness. I remember him distinctly upon the occasion of a visit he made to a quarterly conference of Twin Falls Stake. This was probably about 1930 or ’31. He was an exciting preacher–exciting, both in his delivery and in his metaphors and insights and language. If he tended to speak a little long in his sermons, this was no problem to the listener because he was a brilliant orator.

The Church had, in the early years of this century, several brilliant orators or sermonizers: Orson F. Whitney, Melvin J. Ballard, Rulon S. Wells, James E. Talmage, and B. H. Roberts. James E. Talmage was more didactic-more a teacher than an orator, but succinct, well organized, and interesting. He was a fine scholar. Melvin J. Ballard had a kind of a sing-song delivery, a very melodic voice and his statements were punctuated by a kind of little cough or clearing of his throat. He dwelt upon very spiritual subjects and his talks were spiritually exciting. Rulon S. Wells was an old-fashioned-orator type, but his message was not as intellectually stimulating. Orson F. Whitney was more orational, more dignified; he had a powerful voice and he was a large man, and so he was very impressive. But to my way of thinking, the greatest of them all was Roberts. He had a powerful voice, an effective delivery; he was a very impressive speaker both for what he said and for the manner in which he said it. I have heard many orators in my life but I think I was most impressed by him. Other favorite orators or speakers have included Hugh B. Brown, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., and David O. McKay.

[LJA Diary, 19 Sept., 1978]

It is said that J. R. Hicks, a noted Oxford economist, went to a lecture, and one of his friends asked him if he enjoyed the lecture. “No,” Hicks replied. “I have thirteen teapots at home, all of which will make excellent tea. But I use only one of them because it is the only one that will pour out decently.”

[LJA-Comments on Sidney Jones’ Talk at USU, 10 Oct., 1978]

Last Tuesday night at the monthly meeting of Cannon-Hinckley, Grace and I sat at the table with Lynn and Sister Richards. Lynn is the son of Stephen L Richards, former member of the First Presidency. I asked him whether he had seen any evidence of any tension between his father and J. Reuben Clark, Jr. He said he saw absolutely none. Moreover, he told me of once instance which demonstrated to him the complete harmony of President McKay, President Richards, and President Clark. This occurred in 1958, a few months before the death of Stephen L Richards. Stephen L was not at all well, was in bed at home with the diagnosis that he would probably die shortly. Lynn was staying with his father–at his bedside. In the afternoon, there came President McKay and President Clark. He then saw such a demonstration of affection between the three members of the First Presidency that he has never been able to forget it. He was so struck with the demonstration of affection that he almost regarded it as a spiritual experience just to observe them. He did not say precisely what happened, but one gets the impression of tender loving and kissing. As a kind of aftermath of his relating this experience, he said that he had seen Joseph F. Smith kiss some of his children on the street. He had also experienced the kisses of his father Stephen L, but apparently never publicly. He seemed to be telling this in emphasis of the rare and tender affection between the three brethren as they met together, perhaps for the last time, with the early possible death of Stephen L.

[LJA Diary, 23 Oct., 1978]

The three living sons of William R. Palmer–William I., Richard I., and Ronald I.-came to the office of Elder Durham today to present to the Archives six bound volumes of radio addresses of William R. Palmer over the period 1946-1961. Their mother was an Isom, which explains the middle initial. William R. was a closer friend of J. Golden Kimball, who usually stopped at his home on the way south and back. On one occasion Elder Kimball was assigned to St. George, and complained in the pulpit about the hot weather. His complaints were so pointed and straightforward that the people were offended. The stake president wrote President Grant and told him not to assign J. Golden to St. George Stake again because the people had been offended by his remarks about their climate. President Grant put it off as long as he could, for several years, and finally he couldn’t avoid it any longer. In order not to offend Elder Kimball, he had to assign him to St. George Stake. Once again he was there in August. It was very hot and humid. He arose in stake conference, took off his coat, wiped his brow, and said, “I was told that you people were offended by the remarks I made the last time I was here about the hot weather. Well, I might say that I understated the situation. It is hotter than ever. I don’t see how you all stand it. If I owned hell and St. George, I’d live in hell and rent out Washington County.” When Elder Kimball stopped at Brother Palmer’s home on the way back to Salt Lake, he told about this and said, “The people in St. George have no sense of humor. You can’t joke with them about St. George.”

The Palmers said that there was a certain teenage girl in Parowan where they grew up who began to play very loose with the boys. She was very permissive and promiscuous and rather took pride in helping the boys lose their virginity. After this had gone through several of the young men in Parowan, they got together and decided she’d have to go. It would go badly against them if she didn’t. They drew straws among themselves to determine who would do away with her, and finally it was determined that a Chamberlain boy would have to do it. So he took her up to a place on the mountain and pushed her off. That’s one of those faith-promoting stories which comes out of small Mormon towns–at least in folklore. 

There was also a certain Indian figure that they remembered who always walked into town from the reservation in a slow manner involving sort of a  swinging of the hips, and sort of bow-legged. They said there was an explanation for that. When he was younger he started playing loose sexually with the Indian wives and maidens. He was warned several tines by the chief and elders of the tribe that he must stop, but he didn’t. So finally one day they grabbed him, attached a wire to his scrotum, and attached the other end to a tree and let him swing loose. From that point on he walked bow-legged.

A third story relates to a prominent family in Parowan. The old man was an important Church official in the community, stake president or bishop or counselor or high councilman or something. Anyway, his daughter married a young man and the father-in-law, the Church official, noted on several occasions that the young man had stolen his water. That was something one did not do in Southern Utah where water is so scarce. He warned the young fellow and warned him, but for some reason he was persistent and continued to take the water without authorization or permission. One day when he was riding down the street, the father-in-law shot him in the leg; and so he limped the rest of his life from that wound. 

[LJA Diary, 2 Nov., 1978]

After my class yesterday at BYU, LeGrand Baker chatted with me a little while and told me a story he had heard three or four times from Wilford Poulson. Poulson said that he had gone to University of Chicago to do some graduate work and that he attended the LDS service there. On one occasion the speaker, and he’d forgotten the name of the person, had said that there was a person he couldn’t identify who lived in New York City who was a top Egyptologist in the United States, presumably at Columbia, and that he had been the teacher of these persons that had made statements in the Improvement Era and elsewhere about the Book of Abraham translation, and that he was preparing to refute them. When Poulson cornered him after the meeting, the man refused to identify the name of the person. Poulson then returned to BYU, determined to find out who it was. By chance he had been in the office of the librarian when he received a message from Elder James E. Talmage that a brother of J. E. Homans was coming to obtain some material that Mr. Homans wanted in connection with his writing on the Book of Abraham. Poulson remained at the library for some time and in the meantime the librarian went somewhere else for a meeting or appointment. So when the brother of J. E. Homans came, Poulson talked with him, and asked him many questions about J. E. Homans, and thus learned that Homans was not an Egvptologist, was not a professor at Columbia, that he had written nothing on Egyptology but had written only some technical manual, and that he made a living by writing things that people wanted him to write. 

Poulson concluded from all of this and from subsequent investigation that Talmage was Homans’ Church contact and that Talmage was the one who arranged with the First Presidency to pay Homans to write that book under the pseudonym Robert C. Webb, The Case Against the Mormons and The Real Mormonism. Poulson would chuckle as he told this because he thought it demonstrated that Talmage was willing to be a partner to deception, since the work appeared under a pseudonym and since Homans was not the prestigious scholar that Webb was touted to be. Baker said that Poulson never did like Elder Talmage. He pooh-poohed his doctor’s degree, which Talmage had obtained by mail order, and he pooh-poohed his being listed among the seven greatest scholars in the world by simply being one of the seven persons admitted in a particular year to the Royal Science Society; and perhaps he didn’t like Talmage’s pious manner.

Anyway, I mentioned to LeGrand that I have a file on J. E. Homans and that the materials I have suggest that Homans’ contact with the Church was B. H. Roberts, who was president of the Eastern States Mission, and that Elder Talmage was probably simply a person that was to look over Homans’ writings and verify accuracy and tone. Oh yes, there is one other thing LeGrand said, and that is that Elder Talmage’s instructions to the librarian were that when the brother of J. E. Homans came in, the librarian was not to show him anything that wasn’t published and could not be obtained in any normal library. This suggests that Talmage did not have full confidence in Homans and that they were not willing to make available to him any manuscript records. It suggests a preservation mentality rather than openness.

LeGrand also said that the letter or memo in our archives about the woman teacher in southern Utah which was quoted by Truman Madsen in the guest editor’s prologue of BYU Studies, spring 1969, the Joseph Smith issue, is not genuine; that he, LeGrand, as Truman’s assistant in the Institute  of Mormon Studies had determined that the story was false. Nevertheless Hyrum Andrus picked it up and used it in his book. I encouraged LeGrand to prepare a short piece for the Historian’s Corner of BYU Studies that would correct it so that other scholars would not copy it and regard it as genuine. 

[LJA Diary, 30 Nov., 1978]

Somebody told me the other day that they had been reading some correspondence and that they found evidence of a disagreement between David O. McKay and Joseph Fielding Smith on an important matter of Church doctrine. This is the question of whether a person in the hereafter can advance from one kingdom to another. According to this source, David O. McKay said yes, a person may advance from one kingdom to another in the next world, Joseph Fielding Smith said no, he or she will be restricted to whatever kingdom they are assigned to.

[LJA Diary, 1 Dec., 1978]

Yesterday I took opportunity to ask one of our best scholars who had been through a number of diaries in the 20th century to give me the “straight story” on two episodes involving General Authorities that I hear rumors about all the time and have never had the chance to investigate them myself.

The first relates to Elder Richard R. Lyman, who had always been a favorite speaker and General Authority. He was a huge man, very tall and very large-bodied. He was also one of the most charming men I have ever met or seen in the pulpit. I remember hearing him speak in stake conference when I was in my teens and remember meeting him a number of times at the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters after he left the Quorum of the Twelve. The first of these latter times was about 1949 when I presented a paper on the Mormon Crisis of 1869, and the decisions that proceeded from that. It was later published in the Pacific Historical Review for May 1951 under the title “The Transcontinental Railroad and Mormon Economic Policy.” The article was republished several times and formed a key chapter in Great Basin Kingdom. I remember as I read through the paper, Brother Lyman nodded, smiled, and in a couple of instances audibly said, Yes; Yes. He was very complimentary–very pleased with the paper–and intensely interested in what I had to say. In the later years of his life–and I think he lived to be about 94–he wore a hearing aid but still demonstrated genuine interest in what was going on intellectually.

This friend say that Brother Lyman’s “problem” was not adultery but plural marriage. He said that he was married in a covenant marriage to a second wife in 1925. This woman had previously been married herself in a plural marriage about 1920, and Elder Lyman had been designated to  investigate her situation, which he did and excommunicated her. She showed genuine repentance and came back into the Church about 1922. He played a role in that, apparently. But he did not fall in love with her apparently until about 1924 or ’25. Rumor says that it was about that time that his wife, Amy Brown Lyman, determined she would not share the bed with him anymore, and that denial was a contributing factor to him “taking up with” this other woman. But my informant says that he has read the Lyman diaries and there is not one word in the diaries that would suggest that he blamed his wife for that liaison, not one word of recrimination or even a word indicating that she had denied him sexual privileges. This may reflect his genuine manhood–his refusal to blame someone else for his difficulties. At any rate, he entered into a covenant marriage–no third person performing the ceremony–in 1925, and held her as a plural wife until his excommunication, which occurred 12 Nov. 1943. The announcement of the Quorum of the Twelve said that he was being excommunicated “for violation of the Christian law of chastity,” and my informant said that the Quorum of the Twelve did not know of his covenant marriage and he chose not to tell them. It was only in the years that followed that they learned this. He was rebaptized, I think in 1954, although he asked for rebaptism about 1945 or ’46.

The other case I enquired about relates to Joseph F. Smith–patriarch to the Church–Joseph Fielding Smith, the son of Hyrum M. Smith, who in turn was the son of Joseph F. Smith. He was ordained a patriarch in 1942 and released in 1946, “due to ill health.” My informant says that he was also disfellowshipped when he was released but that this was never announced. This almost no one knows about. My informant says that the disfellowshipment was arranged by his relative, President George Albert Smith, and that this was done quietly, probably in order to avoid a formal Church trial which  might have resulted in his excommunication and in a wider knowledge of his “problem.” The problem, according to the informant, was homosexuality.

Apparently a woman whose son was about to leave for a mission came into his office to obtain a blessing for her son. She later charged that he had exhibited homosexual tendencies with her. This charge resulted in him being called in for questioning by the First Presidency and led ultimately to his release.

The informant said that this may or may not have been the case. Apparently Patriarch Joseph F. was very effusive in greeting people. Instead of a normal formal handshake, he was more demonstrative and affectionate, let us say, and his hands would be on the shoulders or around the waist, and some people may have interpreted this as “paying all over you.” The informant thinks this may have been the case with the missionary and that Patriarch Joseph F. may have “seemed” to exhibit homosexual tendencies without having been an actual “hard” homosexual. The informant says that Patriarch Joseph F. had been ill for several months. Just what kind of illness is not clear. Could it have been an emotional illness–a kind of nervous breakdown? Could this have been an illness mentally which caused him to exhibit homosexual tendencies that were only latent when he was emotionally healthy? Could this have resembled the illness of people having emotional troubles, such as when such persons shoplift or exhibit their privates in a public toilet or kiss members of the opposite sex when they are not accustomed to doing so? And could his illness have been the real reason for his release, and the exhibition of symptoms of homosexuality been the reasons for the disfellowshipment? He was soon reinstated and his blessings restored, which suggests that he had once more become healthy emotionally.

Two facts seem clear. First, his difficulty occurred during the same period that the Richard R. Lyman difficulties appeared, and the Lyman family were very bitter that their father was excommunicated and released from the Twelve and required several years before he was allowed to be rebaptized; while, on the other hand, Patriarch Joseph F. was not excommunicated, and so far as it is understood was merely released, and soon had his blessings and priesthood restored. Could this bitterness have caused the Lymans to magnify the Patriarch Joseph F.’s indiscretions? We do know that they have been rather vocal in circulating rumors about the homosexuality of Patriarch Joseph F. But these may very well be based on exaggeration and not reflect the true story. The Lymans have been known to tell people that people had known for years that Patriarch Joseph F. was a homosexual–that this was a long-standing matter. This is very difficult for me to believe, and my informant says it is very difficult for him to believe. If that were true, the word would surely have gotten to the General Authorities and they never would have sustained him patriarch to the Church. It is very difficult to keep such matters quiet. It seems far more believable that his difficulty stemmed from an emotional illness which was temporary in character.

Patriarch Joseph F. went to Hawaii after his release and taught speech at the university there. Apparently my cousin LeRuth either knew him or was very close to his family there. She has never breathed a word to me of any problem and she speaks of him with such respect that it is clear that he could not have been exhibiting any homosexuality during his period in Hawaii. He was very active in the Church and certainly very circumspect.

It is interesting to observe that one does not necessarily obtain the full truth in some of these episodes by reading the diaries of the participants. The full truth is not always known by the participants, and even when it is known it is not always recorded in diaries. Diaries may shade the  truth quite as much as formally published histories of events. Kathy says that a statement by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu is appropriate: “…in this mortal state of imperfection, fig leaves are as necessary for our minds as for our bodies, and ’tis as indecent to show all we think as all we have.” (letter to daughter, 1755, as recorded in Reader’s Digest, Sept. ’78, p. 196.) 

[LJA Diary, 5 Dec., 1978]

I am suddenly reminded of something important I want to record in the diary. Yesterday afternoon Scott Kenny came in to tell me about a “find” in the papers of Joseph F. Smith. He has been going through the Joseph F. Smith papers preparatory to a study of the Joseph F. Smith administration. He found a letter written by Joseph F. in his own hand in which he mentions his struggle with the Word of Wisdom. Apparently for some 20 years of his life he chewed tobacco secretly and could not get rid of the habit. This started while he was a teenager–presumably about the time that he was expelled from school for beating up the teacher and was later called (at age 15) as a missionary to Hawaii. The habit had apparently established itself at that time—early 1950s.

Joseph F. mentions in his letter that one day he was called in by Brigham Young (maybe John Taylor–my memory is uncertain) to discuss some matter, and he was close enough to President Young that he could smell the tobacco. He apologized and confessed to using tobacco secretly, said he had tried several times to quit the habit. The president told him that he really must stop, so he made a Herculean effort and did stop it. He  comments that his use of tobacco had had an undesirable influence on his “wives and children” so quite probably he was still using tobacco when he married Julina, the mother of Joseph Fielding, and possibly another one or two of his plural wives. 

Scott speculates perhaps his own understanding of the difficulty for people to give up the habit explains his refusal to deny temple recommends and appointments to Church positions to people who still used tobacco. Strict enforcement of the Church rule did not come until 1921, three years after Joseph F.’s death. Scott believes that Joseph F. was understanding and tolerant on this matter. Scott said he would furnish me his notes on this finding. It is an important thing for us to know because we can see a number of implications–it helps to explain some of his own insecurity during the 1860s and 1870s. 

[LJA Diary, 9 Jan., 1979]

In New Zealand, about 15 percent of the Maoris are Mormons. And of all the Mormons in New Zealand, perhaps about 75 or 80 percent are Maoris, and the rest whites. But now the whites are converting in increasing numbers. The reason why the bulk of the members are Maoris is that the whites who were converted sooner or later migrated to the United States, leaving behind the Maoris who couldn’t afford to migrate or who were kept from migrating by their family and tribal ties. In New Zealand, Elder Simpson used a stepped-up missionary approach which involved teaching lessons on successive evenings. Then on the third evening, meet at the chapel, where they were about to have a baptism, and talk to them about baptism. Many decide at that time to be baptized, or to be baptized the following week. The principal fall-out of mission converts occurs about the time of the third lesson. It is the result of members of the family telling their neighbors, persons at work, other family members, friends, that they are taking the lessons and giving serious consideration to the religion. These persons offer various arguments, scriptures, literature, etc. to unpersuade them. The missionaries calling by the next week, are greeted with a notice that they are no longer interested and the stack of pamphlets they have received. If the missionaries had been by immediately after, they could  have answered the questions or countered the arguments. Hence, the stepped-up proselyting. Elder Simpson says that the retention rate–the number still in the church after a year–is as good as under the “slow” method. This rapid method is used by Elder Hartmond Rector in San Diego Mission were they are said to be baptizing 200 per week. Cynics say these are wetbacks and that they get baptized, and promptly take-off for other parts and may or may not show up for Church Welfare somewhere. Elder Simpson is aware of the criticism, but thinks the rapid baptisms are, qualitatively, as good as the slow and more selective baptisms. 

[LJA Diary, 17 Jan., 1979]

I received a telephone call this morning from a Lonnie Law, to whom we had written a letter some weeks ago asking for information about the diaries and letters of William Law that she had seen. They were in the possession of her husband’s grandfather, who, I think, was a son of William Law. She said that when my letter came she had thought to reply to me privately but her child knew of the letter and said, when they were eating dinner, “Mama, are you going to tell Daddy about the letter about Grandpa?” So she told her husband about my letter and he told her not to do anything about it. She felt, however, that she needed to respond to the letter, and he is now gone on a trip, and she was making the call from a friend’s, who is a Latter-day Saint that lives near her in California. The friend urged her to make the call to me (“Lonnie, do you know who that is that signed that letter? That’s the Church Historian!”) so she felt obligated to make this call today.

Lonnie said she had read the Law diary three times, but has made no notes from it. The diary begins a couple of weeks before the burning of the Nauvoo Expositor and ends a day or two after the death of the Prophet. The diary ends with an entry when he was across the river in Iowa after the death of the Prophet. There are not daily entries–just sporadic entries. As far as she is aware, this is the only journal that William Law ever kept.

So the diary covers the period when William Law was becoming disillusioned with the Prophet. It shows him to have been very upset with the Prophet. At the end in commenting about the death of the Prophet, William Law calls him a charlatan, a false prophet, not a good person. William Law says he first became upset with the Prophet because his wife, Jane, who was pregnant, was asked by the Prophet to be his wife. William Law did not believe in polygamy, was revolted by the idea and by the way in which the Prophet approached his, William’s, wife to be his, Joseph’s, wife. William says that he and his  brother Wilson discussed this and decided to let all of these secret things be known. It was their thought that the Saints should be made aware that the Prophet was introducing the practice of plural marriage. They also felt that the Saints should be informed of the new doctrine of plurality of gods and that man was a god in embryo, a potential god. That thought was blasphemous to them, and incorrect doctrine.

When it became known that they were establishing the Nauvoo Expositor and the issues began to be circulated, they were threatened by Hyrum Smith and others. The diary suggests that William was threatened unto death. The diary mentions William walking down the street and encountering Hyrum. Hyrum was very angry and threatened him, and others threatened him with guns. A meeting between William Law and Joseph Smith was set up and the Prophet became very angry at him. Then Wilson and William feared for their lives and left in the night. They went to stay at a hotel in Burlington, Iowa.

Lonnie says that when she read the diary first, she was impressed that William Law was upset primarily about the introduction of the practice of plural marriage. When she read it the second time, she noted that he had been upset about the fact that he was excommunicated from a different ward than the one in which he was living. He remarked that this was not fair. She also noted on second reading that William had asked the Prophet to deny the revelation on polygamy but that the Prophet refused to do so. He also asked the Prophet to discountenance the doctrine that men could be gods themselves, but the Prophet did not deny that doctrine either.

While William was in Iowa he wrote that “I hear that the Smith brothers were murdered. It served them right. They received their just dues. They had it coming.” It was at this point that he calls the Prophet the names indicated above–charlatan, false prophet, etc.

When Lonnie read it the third time, she looked to see if William Law had ever denied the Church. She found no evidence that he did. She thought it was a personal matter between him and Joseph Smith, that it originated primarily when Joseph approached Jane, but that in any case it was not that he denied the Church and its basic doctrines or the Book of Mormon or other revelations, but simply that he decided Joseph was a false prophet because of doctrines which he was introducing, such as plurality of gods and plurality of wives.

Lonnie said that her grandfather had five or six letters of William Law written at the time, that she could have read these letters but did not do so– she was more interested in reading the diary, but her husband had read the letters. Her husband’s name is Don. She says her husband told his father not to give or sell the diary and letters to anyone and so he hadn’t done so. Lonnie said that the grandpa and grandpa were coming to visit them in California within the next three weeks and she wanted to know if I would give her any instruction. She would be glad to do anything I instructed her to do. I told her that I would not counsel her to violate the spirit of her husband’s feelings by doing anything underhanded, like making a copy of the diary and letters if they wouldn’t permit her to do so. I told her to take advantage of any opportunity that they might offer–if they would permit her to copy it or to read it again and note down the dates and entries or anything else, for her to certainly take advantage of that. She told me that in any case if she learned anything more than what she told me in this conversation this morning she would telephone me and inform me.

Lonnie said that William Law had absolutely refused to talk about the church to anyone, Mormon or non-Mormon, after he left the Church and went to Wisconsin; that is, until he was about 80. And at that time he did respond with some letters to a journalist. I told her the name of that journalist, Wilhelm Wyl [Wymetal] and that I had a copy of those. She  seemed to be surprised about that. She said the family–her husband’s father–also refused to say anything about the documents they had to anybody. They didn’t want to be involved in any controversy with the Church. They wanted to keep hands off. They were good people and didn’t want the family name to be involved in any way–didn’t want the Law things published. They felt (feel) it was William’s difficulty with the Church and leave it at that. Don’t involve them.

Lonnie has a very friendly, outgoing personality; expresses herself warmly; read the diary once before she ever investigated the Church; read the diary second while she was investigating; and has apparently read the diary once since she became a member of the Church. She seems to be an enthusiastic and loyal member, and the diary has not dampened her enthusiasm in any way. The Church is true and Joseph is a prophet, and the “Law business” hasn’t threatened her. However, I doubt that her husband is a member of the Church and perhaps even that he doesn’t approve of her activities in the Church. 

[LJA Diary, 5 Feb., 1979]

Today Daken Broadhead telephoned to ask me about Jules Remy. During the conversation he told me several stories. He said that back in the 30s he and a few other young men had a study group that met every other week or so.

Another speaker was James E. Talmage, who told them about his experience with his address entitled “The Earth and Man.” Elder Talmage said that this talk had been given in the Sunday afternoon meeting held in the Tabernacle in the early 1930s. All of these talks were published the following Saturday in the Deseret News, but Elder Talmage’s did not appear. It did not appear the next weekend, nor the next. After about three or four months after it was given it did appear. He said that the Council of Twelve couldn’t agree on its publication for several months. Some of them disagreed or were reluctant to have a talk on this controversial subject.

Elder Talmage said he had prepared the talk eighteen years before and had hesitated delivering it in a public setting because he knew that certain of the Brethren would oppose certain of his statements. So he bided his time and after certain Brethren had died, he then felt free to present it. Even so, there was still reluctance on the part of some of the Brethren. Specifically, Joseph Fielding Smith did not feel comfortable with his message or with the publication of it. Because of popularity of the talk, however, and the intense interest in it, it was printed as a pamphlet by Deseret Book, but when the supply of the pamphlet was exhausted, they refused to print any more. In more recent years it was republished in the Instructor or possibly Improvement Era or Ensign

Elder Talmage said there were a lot of things he still did not understand and most things he would never understand. He wanted the young men to realize that there would be matters which they would never get a clear answer on and that there were some things they would have to accept on faith. It was very good advice, said Elder Broadhead. 

He talked a little about Wendell Mendenhall, who had been director of the Church building program. Mendenhall was a student at USU-a freshman when Daken was a senior. They had been lifelong friends, and Daken was quite familiar with all that Wendell went through in connection with his building committee assignment. He was appointed by David O. McKay, who had complete faith in him, and he never did anything except what he had been expressly authorized to do by President McKay. President McKay granted to him great power. Not every member of the Twelve agreed with President McKay’s instructions to him, nor with the manner in which President McKay encouraged him to operate. There was some dissension against the program in the Twelve, and they did not dare express it against President McKay himself so they took it out on Brother Mendenhall.

Brother Mendenhall recorded everything he had been authorized to do– kept every letter and memo of every conference and phone call, and all of this is in his diary or among his papers. These now are in the possession of his wife, and it is presumed that they will go to his boys. There are so many confidential and personal experiences in those papers that Daken believes the whole thing should be sealed at least for a good span of years. He doubts that the widow would allow me to use then now. Daken said that Wendell kept a record of many personal experiences which came as the result of the authority and power which he exercised. Because of the extensive power granted to him by President McKay, there was jealousy in some areas and that eventually proved to be his downfall. Daken liked him very much, thought he was a very honest, sincere, and capable person. He was not the sort of person who would take advantage of his relationship with President McKay nor was he the kind of person who would seek to influence President McKay in a direction he wished. He was simply someone who fought conscientiously and sincerely to do what President McKay wanted done. 

[LJA Diary, 15 Feb., 1979]

This noon Davis and I were invited to have lunch with Sterling McMurrin and Malcolm Sillars, Dean of the College of Humanities of the University of Utah. Mal Sillars is not a Mormon, but seems to be well informed on Mormon history. He said he had read Great Basin Kingdom with great interest and seemed to be aware of many other books, articles, & problems of Church history. I think I should invite him back to dinner soon and show him our operation, including the archives.

Sterling had a number of interesting stories to tell. The following are some of them.

Obert Tanner got into the jewelry business when he was a teacher of seminary at East High School. Trying to make a living for himself and family he learned that the Balfour Company of Attleboro, Mass., would furnish materials for a class ring and that he, Obert, might make a commission on each ring by assembling these materials. So he acquired a pair of pliers and a few other tools and made some money. He thought the amount to be made was of sufficient worth that he soon was doing this for other high schools in the region. He then hired a German or Swiss or Dutch LDS immigrant who was something of an artist and jeweler to work for him full time, and he set up a shop in the basement of his home. Originally the work desk consisted of an ironing board stretched across two chairs. They continued to expand the business and the profits continued to improve. Meanwhile Obert wanted to maintain his involvement with the academic community and had his sister help direct the firm and also brought in his nephew, Norm Tanner.

Leaving his sister in charge, he went to Harvard to study philosophy and came back to the U of U and received an L.L.D. Then to Stanford to study more philosophy. They offered him a position as head of their religious studies center, but he declined because he wanted to return to SLC. Obert  and Grace had 3 sons who were killed. The first son died of polio; the 3rd son when he was quite young was killed by being run over by an automobile in the parking lot of the Alta Club. The 2nd son was killed in an automobile accident when he was about 17 when a partner and he had gone to a school outing in the canyon, and his friend, who was driving, had driven too fast and failed to make a curve. Obert and Grace hoped they would he able to have another son and they did. That 4th son is still alive, and is in his 20s. He has a separate home on the Tanner place and I gather from Sterling that he is kind of a playboy–spends his time skiing, traveling around the world, etc. Obert will look after that son and the two daughters by means of trusts which he has set up.

Sterling said that Obert used to have an office next to his, without a telephone, so he would come into Sterling’s office to make telephone calls. In this way Sterling overheard much of his business. Obert taught a class in comparative religion at the U and used to bring in speakers from various faiths– some person from the Catholic Church, and one from the Greek Orthodox, one from the Buddhists, etc. He always had one from the Mormons. The usual person from the Mormons year after year was Lowell Bennion. But one year, Sterling said, he decided he would get somebody different. He would get a real Mormon, not an idealistic intellectual Mormon. So he decided to ask Milton Hunter, who at that tine was a member of the First Council of Seventy and who had had a Ph. D. in history. Sterling gave a humorous account of the telephone conversation in which he asked Milton to come. Obert shared the telephone receiver with Sterling in that instance. Obert pointed out to him that he was asking him to represent the LDS because he’d written many books about the Church. “I suppose you’ve written as many books as anyone else in the Church,” said Obert. Brother Hunter’s reply, according to Sterling, was something like this, speaking real fast as  he usually did: “Yes, I’ve written more than anyone in the Church. Brother

Roberts wrote more books, but for my age, I wrote more than he. And by the time I finish, I suppose I will have written more even than Brother Roberts.” Anyway, Brother Hunter spoke to the class, and Sterling and Rover Jarvis sat in on the back seat to listen to the presentation. Sterling says that when he finished there was a question period, and one girl, not a Latter-day Saint, tells him she has heard that Mormons believe there is a mother in heaven; is that true? Brother Hunter, in his staccato-like fast talk, said, “Yes, God’s got a wife. God’s got a wife. Next question.” She said, “Well, I wanted to ask one thing more about it. What does that mean with respect to the Virgin Mary? Was she that wife or did God have more than one wife, or did he commit adultery?” Brother Hunter was set back by that and apparently said simply that he assumed there was plurality in heaven as there was once plurality on earth.

Sterling said he had read my article on the Tanner family and sent a copy to Obert, who was in Palm Springs. Sterling said it was news to him that Obert had been on the general board of the Sunday School. He wondered if I could have made a mistake, as he thinks Obert would have told him if that had been the case. I told him I would check on it if Obert didn’t set me straight in the meantime. 

Sterling said he is a great-grandson of the Hunter who married Eilley Orrum, who later married Sandy Bowers in Nevada and became rich from the Comstock lode. He wanted to know if we could possibly get divorce papers on her, there were a number of things wrong with her story. For one thing, she said she was a plural wife, and Sterling was sure she was the first wife. She’s supposed to have gotten disgusted with plural status and took off for Nevada. That could not be true, said Sterling, and he suspects that she was simply  divorced from her Hunter husband and went on to Nevada. I need to tell Sterling that her name on the parish records was Alison Orme and that she was married to Stephen Hunter in April 1842. I’ll look for the divorce records as soon as I have an opportunity. 

Sterling told a couple of stories that could he applied to different situations than the context in which he told it. He said a party of university people took a tour of New Guinea and were visiting a tribe of headhunters. While they were visiting one tribe which was relatively peaceful, the tribe was attacked by a vicious neighboring tribe of cannibals. They killed the Americans and were processing them for their next meal, when another American who was known by the cannibals came upon the scene, and so they told him they had a banquet scheduled and would like to take his order. Which would he prefer of the various delicacies—Fricasseed assistant professor, boiled associate professor, or sauteed full professor? The fellow says, “What’s the matter with that group? Don’t they have any dean among then?” “Oh, yes, there was a dean, but we didn’t even cook the dean. On the basis of past experience, we know that deans are too hard to clean.” 

[LJA Diary, 5 Mar., 1979]

Maureen spent last week on a vacation trip in Hawaii. She enjoyed herself very much; she spent most of the time in Laie. She said that there is considerable discontent in Laie with the Church, meaning Zion Securities Corporation, which people there indicate essentially owns all of that area. Zion Securities owns the land and merely leases it to professors at the college and other people who live in the area. Zion Securities is raising the lease rent to such a level that the members of the Church are unable to rent it and so the result is that non-Mormons have been or will be coming into the area, replacing Mormons. While everybody understands that the Church has to act in a capitalistic way, everybody thinks they should give first consideration to Church people even if it means making less money. She said she believes this discontent is fairly widespread. 

[LJA Diary, 6 Mar., 1979]

I have been seeing what references there might be in my library about Second Anointings. Nothing in MORMON DOCTRINE by Bruce McConkie. Nothing in Carter, LDS Encyclopedia. Nothing in the indexes to Joseph Smith, HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, Roberts, COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY, and JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES. Mike Quinn’s article on Prayer Circles in BYU STUDIES, Fall 1978, mentions them. Suggests they were first given shortly before the completion of the Nauvoo Temple, shortly before Joseph Smith’s death. Suggests that those who belonged to the Holy Order or Anointed Quorum had all received their Second Anointings. Perhaps those who received the Second Anointings were all invited into the Holy Order, and that the Anointed Quorum consisted of all and only of all who received their Second Anointings. This was the original Prayer Circle.

Clark, MESSAGES OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY, III, p. 228, has a letter to Presidents of Stakes and Bishops of Wards, Nov. 6, 1891, which states that the approval of the president of the Church was required for those receiving Second Anointings, but presumably they are initiated by bishops and/or stake presidents. Clark, MESSAGES OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY, V, p. 112, has a Circular with temple instructions to bishops, dated 1918 which states that bishops are not to issue recommends for second anointings. That is the province of stake presidents and must have the endorsement or approval of the President of the Church, and individuals are not to be informed until the latter is approved. “As a general rule, such recommends are issued only in behalf of those who have had endowments in lifetime, and have been sealed and lived together faithfully as husband and wife, and who have been valiant in the defense of truth and active in all good works.” 

[LJA Diary; Second Anointings, 24 Mar., 1979]

Further on Second Anointings

In conversation with a number of staff members about Second Anointings, this morning, I learned the following things:

1. There were a considerable number of Second Anointings given in the Nauvoo Temple in 1846, also a number that were given by the Prophet outside the Nauvoo Temple before it was completed, presumably in the upper story of his store. By the time of the departure from Nauvoo in February 1846, there were probably several dozen persons who had received Second Anointings. Then there was a hiatus and no Second Amointings were performed until 1866-67. Likewise, no adoptions were performed during that period. It is quite probable that Brigham Young took the attitude that these ordinances could be performed only in a completed, dedicated temple and he was awaiting the completion of the Salt Lake Temple. Then for some reason there was a decision to begin conferring them again in the Endowment House, because the completion of the temple was too far away and there were a number of new apostles who had not received Second Anointings and should have them–examples, Joseph F. Smith, George Q. Cannon, Brigham Young, Jr., etc. But they still held off any adoption ordinances, awaiting the completion of the temple. Then finally there was Wilford Woodruff’s revelation of the 1890s that no more adoptions should be performed.

2. In the original ceremony they conferred the sealing power, which they spoke of in shorthand terms as “the fullness.” In the 1920s when we began to have trouble with the Fundamentalists, President Grant changed the ceremony to the extent of leaving out “the fullness” or the conveying of this, which might have given authority to those receiving it (some of whom might be or might become Fundamentalists) to have this power. 

3. There have been few Second Anointings granted in the present generations but a temple worker told one of the staff that President Kimball recently revived the practice and has been administering Second Anointings to selected people.

4. The ceremony involved both women and men; originally it was given to the men in the temple and then they went through the second part of the ordinance in their own homes in a sacred room set aside for the purpose. In Utah it appears to have been performed only in temples and the Endowment House, with the husband and the wife together. The ceremony involves making priests and priestesses equal to gods and godesses of the recipients. The husband is anointed by the presiding official–almost always the president of the Church–and then there is a portion of the ceremony in which the wife goes through a symbolic ceremony of preparing the husband’s body for burial and for resurrection, and she uses her equivalent to the priesthood to anoint him and to seal him up for the resurrection. Because of this portion, some women in pioneer Utah, on the basis of their diaries and histories, apparently thought that the priesthood was being conferred upon them. This is apparently not something which women in this century have assumed. But there must be something to the idea, since they are not only sharing in the symbolic ceremony as recipients but also actively performing an ordinance which involves sealing–performing this on authority which they receive during the ceremony.

5. It is my understanding that this is one of the most sacred of all ordinances performed in the temple–that it is comparatively rare–and that it is a most secret ceremony. I am told the Church officials do not wish the term Second Anointings to appear in print. If it needs to be spoken of in some context, then the shorthand term “the fullness” is usually referred to, and that might appear in print occasionally, although rarely.

6. It is my understanding that much of the trouble between Brigham Young and William Smith was over the issue of the authority which William Smith had been given in his Second Anointing. He thought he had the sealing power and wanted to seal people on his own authority. Brigham Young responded to him in a letter in our possession which recalls to him a conversation on the second floor of Joseph’s store about the matter, in which Joseph said that there was a difference between being granted a potential power as gods and goddesses, and being granted keys of Elijah; only one person on earth, the prophet, has the keys of Elijah–this is not shared by a number of people and is not conveyed except potentially in the Second Anointing ceremony. And even the potential authority and power, which often could lead to misunderstanding, was removed in the 1920s by President Grant.

I asked Ron Walker, who is a bishop, if Second Anointings are mentioned in the bishop’s handbook. He said no. He said it was his understanding that neither a bishop nor a stake president may recommend persons to receive Second Anointings–this must come from a General Authority, and the only instances he knows of have come from the president of the Church. He said that in his ward there are probably no more than 6 who have received Second Anointings. Of these, two are General Authorities; one is the surviving widow of a former stake president who was a personal friend of one of the presidents of the Church; another is the surviving widow of a person who is a personal friend of another president of the Church. He said there may be two others, but he’s not completely sure. That’s out of a ward of 500 or 600 people. He said he had the impression that there were not many granted during the last 30 years but that there is some slight resumption since President Kimball became president. 

[LJA Diary; Further on Second Anointings, 26 Mar., 1979]

Today I sat next to Laury Cracroft in Rotary. He told me a number of interesting things. In 1939 when Vardis Fisher’s book Children of God first appeared, the editor of the Utah literary magazine, the Pen thought the book should be reviewed and asked Laury to do it. It was depression time, but Laury managed to get some money and buy the book from the Paris and proceeded to review it for the Pen. He stated that the book would not of course be well received in Salt Lake City and within the Mormon community. Having said that he then proceeded to describe and summarize the book. The next day after it appeared, he was called in by the dean of men at the U of U and told that he would almost certainly be kicked out of the university. He was warned by two or three administrative officials and received some nasty phone calls.

When the Pen put out a special centennial edition in 1950, they included articles that had appeared in the Pen by Bernard de Voto, Vardis Fisher, Wallace Stegner, Fawn Brodie, and one other person he couldn’t recall, and himself– this review. The next day after the Pen appeared there was piece on the front page of the Deseret News–or maybe on the editorial page–criticizing strongly this edition of the Pen and using very strong language like “the U has no business publishing articles by all these apostates and anti-Mormons.”

Laury began to receive hostile telephone calls once more; in fact, many. He talked to one of his neighbors, Lou Callister, a prominent attorney. Lou said, “You have got a strong case, Laury. Clearly they have libeled you, and you have a good basis for sueing. I wouldn’t like to handle your case, but if you can’t find anyone else, I’ll do it.” Laury’s wife complained so much about the telephone calls that she told him he should do something. So he went to Dr. Widtsoe who was, he thought, a calm and reasonable man, and told him the story. Dr. Widtsoe said he would take up the matter with Deseret News and other officials and he thought they would work out something that would be satisfactory. Shortly thereafter persons from the Deseret News called him up and asked him to come over to discuss it. He said, “You’re the ones that have given me the trouble; don’t you think you ought to come to my office instead of yours? You’re the ones that have caused it.” So they came over to his office, and they agreed to run a retraction on the first page in the location near where the other was–or maybe on the editorial page–a retraction worded by Laury himself. They did run it the next day. Below it, however, they did try to give some explanation or justification for the same. But this satisfied Laury, and the matter was essentially closed.

The next day Laury received a telephone call from Tom Fitzpatrick, publisher of the Tribune. He said, ‘Why don’t you come over and tell me about it?” Laury did go over and they talked for a while. Laurie told him he thought the matter was ended because he fully expected them to comply with their part of the agreement. Fitzpatrick said, “If they do not fulfill their agreement in every respect, you let me know and I’ll run a news story detailing the whole business.” Laury never had to telephone him back.

There’s one other aspect to the story. At the time the article was published–I think on the Tuesday following the Sunday on which it appeared– Laury was to be proposed to be a member of Rotary. Laury thought this might result in persons voting against him, so he phoned up his sponsor and asked him whether he thought it would be proper for him to resign. The sponsor said, “Definitely, it would be in your interest to resign.” So Laury was fully prepared to do that. He mentioned this when he had his conversation with Dr. Widtsoe. Shortly thereafter he received a telephone call from Richard L. Evans, who was president of Salt Lake Rotary at the time. Brother Evans said, “Your resignation from having your name submitted has not been accepted and will not be. Your name will be submitted as if nothing had happened. There will not be a single person vote against you. You will be approved and I welcome you next week to Rotary as a full-fledged member.” Laury said, “I know you have done wonders, Brother Evans, but you can’t possibly promise all this. I know there are people who will vote against me on the basis of that editorial.” Brother Evans replied, “Laury, this is a fix, and when I fix things, you can depend on the fact that they are fixed!” Laury said, “How can you possibly work it out?” He said, “There will be four people working until the next Rotary meeting and we will phone every single member of Rotary, and we will make sure that everyone votes for you. So don’t worry about it.” It happened, of course, and Laury was made a member and later became the president of the club.

I asked Laury who in the Deseret News had written the editorial making the libelous assertions. He said it was Mark Petersen, and Mark Petersen had always been against him in subsequent dealings that have taken place. 

[LJA Diary, 22 May, 1979]

Wednesday Carol Lynn Pearson came by and spent several hours. First, she informed us that she is no longer married. She has all four of the children, ages 4 to 11, two boys and two girls. She said it was a friendly parting; she and Gerald are still good friends. She looked fine, as if she is relieved that she has finally resolved their problems. I don’t have any idea what the problems were.

[LJA to Carl and Chris, 24 Aug., 1979]

I had a chance to talk this afternoon with Michael Quinn about the patriarch’s position. Mike says that a crucial date is in 1932 upon the death of Hyrum C. Smith. The General Authorities were not united on whether to have a presiding patriarch–one who presided over the other patriarchs–and who was an active General Authority, or whether they ought to have only a patriarch to the Church. A group of apostles appointed to study the matter recommended to President Grant that they appoint Eldred C. Smith in the John Smith line, and that he be appointed patriarch to the Church. He was a young person, only 25 years old, and for that reason they did not believe they ought to make him a presiding patriarch, & he shouldn’t visit conferences, speak, set apart people, attend meetings of the Quorum of Twelve and First Presidency in the temple, etc.

President Grant had not been especially impressed with the John Smith family and he thought Eldred Smith was too young and inexperienced. And he had a strong preference for the presiding-patriarch type. With a strong difference of opinion between Pres. Grant and the committee of the Twelve, they simply let it go for ten years.  In 1942 they finally reached a decision to appoint a person from the Joseph F. Smith family, not the John Smith family; namely, Joseph F. Smith, the professor of speech at the University of Utah. They made him a presiding patriarch in the sense that he not only gave blessings but visited quarterly conferences in stakes, set persons apart, attended meetings of the Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency in the temple, and voted in those meetings. Then there was the trouble that occured under Joseph F. Smith and he finally resigned. 

After that, in 1946, they sustained Eldred C. Smith. He immediately did something that infuriated some of the Brethren of the Twelve, namely in his first talk in conference after being sustained, he made a half-humorous, half-bitter remark that he had thought first of reading the talk he had written back in 1932 when he thought he was going to be sustained and wasn’t. They sustained him only as patriarch to the church, not as presiding patriarch as Joseph F. Smith and most predecessors had been. He was not invited to meetings of the Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency, nor to stake conferences, nor allowed to sustain stake officers. After he had been in for several years, members of the Quorum of the Twelve recommended that he be invited to their meetings and he was, for a brief period. Then he was told not to attend any more. For a brief period they also invited him to attend stake conferences and then after a period he was told that they didn’t need him to do that any longer. At one point a committee of the Twelve was appointed to look over his patriarchal blessings to see if he had been saying things he shouldn’t be saying. Apparently they did things that were very demeaning–they warned him on his grammar, telling him he should not say “each and every one,” for example.

Mike has no idea why they should have released him now rather than say last year or next year. He is 72 years old. Mike knows the family quite well and thus it is obvious they would never sustain Gary after his having been divorced. Mike says he understands that Gary was the victim or the injured party in the divorce, but thinks they would never sustain as patriarch to the Church or presiding patriarch a person who has been divorced.

Mike suggests that they may go some time before they get a new person in that position–and Mike does think they will eventually appoint someone. It is too strongly based on revelation and scripture and historical tradition. He thinks that this opens up a very real question as to whether the person should be sustained as a presiding patriarch or as a patriarch to the Church, whether the person ought to come through the Joseph Smith line or the Joseph F. Smith line, or perhaps through the family of Joseph Smith Sr.–through one of his brothers: the Silas Smith line, the John Smith line, and so on. And whether the person must bear the surname of Smith or whether he might have another name, having come down through one of the daughters.

Mike says that Eldred has been very open in expressing his own bitterness. To many General Authorities, he has an abrasive personality which has been irritating to them and to ordinary members of the Church as well. This is perhaps one reason why they’ve had investigation committees. When they were presenting to the General Authorities the two new revelations which were sustained a couple of years ago to be put in the Pearl of Great Price–the revelations of Joseph Smith and Joseph F. Smith–Eldred was sitting next to Sterling Sill, who leaned over and whispered to Eldred a question: “Why don’t they put it in the D & C instead of in the Pearl of Great Price?” Eldred replied, “That’s one thing you’ll have to ask them; they don’t trust me.” So Sterling Sill asked President Kimball the question, and he replied he didn’t know, and asked Bruce McConkie to explain. Eldred thought that was a dangerous thing for the First Presidency to yield to Bruce on matters of doctrine and scripture like that.

[Reflections on General Conference; LJA Diary, 8 Oct., 1979]

When Carl was here at Christmas time, he and Chris passed on some interesting gossip. He thinks there is a possibility that one of the reasons Emil Fetzer has drug his feet on recommending the preservation of LDS chapels is that there is a family interest in demolition under Church contract. Carl has learned that Emil Fetzer’s family are in the wrecking business, and have profited from the demolition of several Church buildings.

Carl related an episode not well understood by me in which a study had been made about the possibility of introducing computer services in the ward chapels. The study had been given to various competitive offers and it was very clear to the persons making the study that one particular company and service was the best and the cheapest. This recommendation was sent to an apostle–unnamed. The apostle looked at the recommendation and then commented that he thought the Church ought to support the small company, that it was a mistake for the Church to continually support the large national companies with its business. So he said he was going to recommend against the investigative team’s report and instead favor the smaller company. It turns out, Carl said, that the smaller company was one in which the General Authority’s sons were interested and as the result of the decision to award the contract to this smaller company, the stock went up from 2c to $20. And according to Carl, it turned out that the General Authority himself owned much of the primary stock of this company. So much for gossip. 

[LJA Diary, 22 Jan., 1980]

Last night Grace and I went to dinner at the home of Eldred and Hortense Child Smith. We found them to be charming, unpretentious, friendly, and interesting persons. We stayed until 11:30–the latest we have stayed out for years. We had interesting conversation and Eldred showed us all his treasures.

Eldred is the son of Hyrum G. Smith, for some 20 years (1912-1932), patriarch to the

Church. Hyrum G. was the grandson of John Smith, who served for 56 years as patriarch to the Church (1855-1911). He was the son of Hyrum Smith, who was the brother of Joseph Smith, Jr., Patriarch to the Church in 1844. Hyrum G.’s father, Hyrum Fisher Smith, not made patriarch because not properly trained to be. Eldred was quite young when his father died (25) and so for several years (1932-1937), the church went without an appointed patriarch to the Church. George F. Richards, an apostle who was already an ordained patriarch from Tooele Stake, was appointed as acting Patriarch to the Church and served 1937-1942. Then, after considerable discussion, President Grant decided to appoint Joseph F. Smith. oldest son of Hyrum M. Smith, the apostle son of Joseph F. Smith. Why didn’t he appoint Eldred? Eldred said before the announcement was made public that President Grant called him (Eldred) into his office and told him that he (President Grant) would never appoint a descendant of John Smith as Patriarch to the Church because John Smith would not conform on the Word of Wisdom. Eldred said John did obey the Word of Wisdom when it was made clear to him that he had to. This was about 1906 or so. Before that, he used chewing tobacco. He was no hypocrite and made no secret about this use, taking a chew publicly as well as privately. Heber J. Grant was somewhat hipped on the Word of Wisdom and could not forgive a persistent violator. According to his feeling, John Smith should have quit long before. It was outrageous that at that late date a Patriarch to the Church should continue to chew tobacco publicly. And because of that he held it against even John’s descendants.

Hyrum Smith was about 32 and just beginning dental practice when he was asked to be Patriarch to the Church by Joseph F. Smith. This was about 1912. There were several run-ins with Heber J. Grant. One time, in the 1920s, when he was giving his testimony in a temple meeting of General Authorities, he said was talking about the importance of his calling, and said that as Patriarch to the church he had several privileges that were unique. For example, he had the right to choose and ordain his successor. This infuriated Heber J. and he was determined that should not happen. That was the prerogative of the President of the Church. At any rate, he chose Joseph F. Smith as Patriarch to the Church, a descendant of Hyrum.

Joseph F. Smith, the Patriarch, the oldest son of Hyrum M., serving 1942-1946, said Eldred, was a homosexual. He said the discovery of this came about as follows. A certain young man in Salt Lake was eligible for a mission, and urged by his father to go. The son said he was not worthy to go on a mission. The father kept pressing him until he admitted that he had engaged in homosexual relations with a high Church person. His father continued to press until the son confessed it was Joseph F. Smith the patriarch. The father then persuaded the son to go with him to President George Albert Smith and inform him. They called Joseph F. in to confront him with it, he admitted it, left the Church Administration building and never returned to his office. He then went to Hawaii, which was not then a state, where he taught for many years. This avoided any prosecution. Then for a year the Patriarch to the Church was vacant and then they called on Eldred in 1947. Eldred also said that the busy part of the Patriarch’s job was in the summer and Joseph F. spent every summer teaching in Canada. So he did not really magnify his calling. Did not give many blessings.

When called in by George Albert Smith Eldred had a pleasant interview. In his inaugural speech in the conference, he stated that he wanted everyone to know that his failure to be designated Patriarch to the Church after the death of his father had nothing to do with worthiness, that he had been worthy. Apparently, in saying this, he rubbed some people, some authorities, the wrong way, and they have never forgiven him for it. They thought he should apologize for what he said about President Grant. Among those who felt that way are some now alive–he implies Benson and Petersen. When some people called him on this implied offense or implied criticism of President Grant, Eldred, after editing the transcript of his remarks, sent them to President Smith. He went over it carefully and said it was all right. He saw nothing wrong in it. But Joseph Fielding Smith, who was in charge of the Patriarch to the Church administratively, took it upon himself to edit it further for publication. So Eldred has three versions of his talk-the one he gave, the one he edited for publication and approved by George Albert Smith, and the one edited by Joseph Fielding Smith and published in the conference proceedings. It would be interesting to see if we have the tape of that session of conference in the Archives and whether we can listen to it and compare with the published version, to see just what in his remarks was so offensive.

And why was Joseph Fielding Smith administratively over the Patriarch to the Church position? Eldred said that when his father was called to replace his father that the letter to him, then in California, was written by Joseph Fielding Smith on behalf of his father Joseph F.

Eldred said that during his last years, when Heber J. was not physically capable of doing the work required of him, he ordained or set apart J. Reuben Clark, Jr. as acting president of the Church, and that Clark moved into his (Grant’s) office and more or less took over. Clark was the one who appointed the first four or five assistant apostles; they were his friends and people who more or less agreed with him. And it was expected that the apostles be chosen from among that group, thus strengthening Clark’s hold on the Quorum of the Twelve.

Eldred also said that it was difficult to get to see President McKay during his last years unless one was a special friend of Clare Middlemiss. She controlled who saw President McKay.

I asked Eldred how he assigns lineage to a black, or Polynesian, or Oriental. He said obviously they are not, genealogically speaking, of the Israelitish group. But they are adopted members when they join the Church, so he confers upon them the blessings of the House of Israel. They may enjoy all the blessings of the tribes of Ephraim or Manassa.

Eldred said that until his appointment, the Patriarch to the Church was more or less in charge of the Patriarchs of the Church. He remembers that under his father, and his predecessors, there was a quorum of Patriarchs, and his father used to have a meeting regularly with them–at conference time and at other times as well. His father gave counsel, instruction, and kept in touch with all patriarchs by mail. Beginning with him, Eldred (possibly also beginning with Joseph F.?), he was no longer given that responsibility or right. It was later that the patriarchs received direction from the Quorum of Twelve and their stake presidents. 

Eldred still goes to his office fairly often. Not every day, of course. He still gives blessings. He was moved from his old office in the Administration Building to the 20th floor of the Church Office Building. He is there with other emeriti. There are two sizes of offices in that group–some large and some small. He was given one of the small offices. There are still two of the large offices vacant. He has asked President Tanner and others why he can’t have one of the large offices since they are vacant. But nothing is done. Several emeriti share a secretary, or rather a typist. She does not type well, does not spell well; and does not have time for his blessings. He sometimes is two or three weeks behind on getting a blessing typed. He is quite bitter about the way they have treated him. He doesn’t know why they released him when they did and put him on emeritus status. He doesn’t think it was the doing of President Kimball, although he of course approved. How can you release a Prophet, Seer and Revelator? There was no reason for him to be released from the standpoint of age or worthiness, he says. He is now 73, and was 72 when released. . . .

After “dinner talk” Eldred brought out his large Battalion flag. It’s about 8 feet by 5 feet. Has thirteen stripes, seven red and six white. In the upper left, on a blue background thirteen stars–not in a circle, but arranged with four on the bottom, three on the other sides, with two inset at the top. In the center of the stars is a large perched eagle painted on, in brown, yellow, etc. In the center of the stripes section a large brown bear standing–standing, not on all fours. Here’s Eldred’s story of the flag. Oh, yes, I must mention that painted in black letters across the top of the flag, in large letters, was LIFE GUARDS. Across the bottom, painted in large black letters, ALWAYS READY.

There is a colored photo of the flag in the Salt Lake Tribune Home Magazine for July 24, 1967. There is a reference to the flag in a parade in the Journal History for January 1, 1855. 

Eldred says the flag was made for and used by the Nauvoo Legion in Nauvoo. When they were signing up for the Mormon Battalion in Winter Quarters or along the trail in Iowa, Brigham Young got out this flag and put it up for the recruitment signing. The flag was then carried by the Battalion to San Diego. There, at Camp Moore, they erected it with a pine tree as staff and with the proclamation of California as the Bear Republic, they painted on the bear. With the disbanding of the Battalion, a member, recognizing this to be Church property, carried the flag back to SLC, where it was given to Brigham Young. When Brigham Young organized his Life Guards, to be ready, at a moment’s notice, to ride out for purposes of defense or law enforcement, he gave the flag to them to use. John Smith was the standard bearer. He or officers of the Life Guards had “Life Guards, Always Ready” painted on the flag. It went from John Smith to Hyrum G. Smith to Eldred, who has had it since his father’s death.

Eldred said that John Smith was the orphan boy who Colonel Kate refers to in his historical address on “The Mormons,” who showed him (Kane) Nauvoo after it was abandoned by the Mormons in 1846. Uncle John was too old to be an orphan boy in 1846–he was sixty-five. And as for John Smith, yes he was the son of Hyrum and Jerusha Barden Smith and was 14 at the time, yes he fits. I had thought John, the sixth Patriarch, was the son of Uncle John, the fifth Patriarch. Wrong. So John Smith quite probably was the orphan boy who showed Colonel Kane Nauvoo in 1846.

Eldred and Hortense then took us back to Eldred’s study where he showed us his treasures. See if I can remember all of them:

The Hyrum Smith Family Bible with entries in the Family Record between Apocrypha and New Testament about marriages, births, etc., much in the handwriting of Hyrum Smith.

A Record Book of Hyrum Smith with various business accounts, mostly 1835.

A diary of Hyrum Smith during a mission (with Jared Carter?) in 1835, and some other entries. In Hyrum’s own hand.

The Hebrew Bible used by Hyrum Smith in the School of the Prophets

The shirt worn by Hyrum when he was killed, with blood. Grace wept when she saw this.

The gray trousers worn by Hyrum when he was killed. No belt.

The temple garments-or at least the top–worn by Hyrum, together with markings. A crescent at the navel, for “new life,” a symbol of such. Reportedly, when Hyrum and Joseph changed clothes after recrossing the Mississippi to Nauvoo to go to Carthage, they took off their garments. Reportedly, Joseph asked Emma and other “sewing” sisters to design the temple garment; they prepared four or five and Joseph selected the simplest, which disappointed them. They wanted a collar and he gave permission for that. These garments seem to be of linen–certainly not wool. Joseph Fielding Smith did not think these were garments; did not want to believe it and told Eldred not to exhibit them as garments. 

The Nauvoo Legion rifle of Hyrum 

The Nauvoo Legion dress sword of Hyrum 

The box of Alvin Smith’s which for a while held the plates of gold. 

The sun glasses of Hyrum 

The watch Hyrum was wearing when he was shot.

The better watch Hyrum bought before his murder which he was not wearing at the time. Liverpool.

The leather belt he wore to which the sword was attached, when the Legion paraded, and leather things attached to sword.

The cane of Hyrum, together with a copy of the cane which John Smith had a cane maker make for him in Denmark, which closely resembles it. 

The vest worn by Hyrum when he was shot

Shaving brush of Hyrum 

Leather thing to hold the flag 

Lucy Mack Smith’s stool 

Lucy Mack Smith dinner bell–possibly used by Joseph Sr. when teaching 

Temple apron of Hyrum. Green with brown thread of fig leaves. 

I urged Eldred to make Xerox copies of the Family Record in the Hyrum Smith Bible, of the Account Book and Diary. I also urged him to allow us to do an Oral History of him. I pointed out we could hold it for twenty or thirty years until it would be available. I urged Hortense to complete her Oral Histories with Gordon Irving and to be complete and honest. She has been delayed, she said, by the deaths, within three or four months of each other, of her parents.

Hortense said she had read GREAT BASIN KINGDOM, and was very fond of it, particularly because of the references to Goudy Hogan, whom she loves and is proud of. He was also at Orderville, and her grandfather may have been the boy in the Orderville pants story. She hasn’t read THE MORMON EXPERIENCE and is anxious to get to it, and will let me know how she feels about the chapter on women.

Eldred was an engineer for the Atomic Energy Project in California before appointed Patriarch. Very mechanical. Does mechanical things. 

[LJA Diary, 14 Jun., 1980]

Davis and I had lunch in Heber City with Theron Luke, who was also on the Utah State Historical Society convention tour. Theron told us the story of the “saving” of the Wasatch Tabernacle in Heber. Compare this with the story of Mary Witt, which I think I recorded several years ago in this diary. Mary Witt’s main contention was that none of the brethren would pay any attention to her because she was a woman. So she finally had to get the help of Theron Luke, Garn Hatch, and others to remonstrate with the brethren and get them to listen to the argument against destroying the tabernacle.

Theron said that President J. Harold Call of the Wasatch Stake was a young person, a newcomer without any “history” or family background in Wasatch County. One of his counselors, Carlyle, was privately opposed to destroying the tabernacle but did not think it proper to oppose his stake president. The other counselor was a German immigrant who “would have made a damn good Nazi and may have been one.” Wasatch Stake found the stake tabernacle increasingly unusable. President Call felt very strongly the new stake center should be built on the site of the old tabernacle, and so proposed to raze it. He did not present to the priesthood or membership a proposal to destroy it, but instead asked them for their support of the stake presidency in whatever was decided upon. Every time, of course, he got an overwhelming supportive vote. According to Theron, the person placed in charge of this matter was President Hugh B. Brown. President Call would report to him, saying the overwhelming sentiment in his stake was in favor of tearing down the old tabernacle, building a new one on that same location. Then a couple of Daughters of Utah Pioneers ladies, headed by Mary Witt, made objections and nobody paid attention to them. Others then became involved, such as Garn Hatch and Theron. They suggested an alternative. The stake president said he was willing to consider an alternative. They found a nice lot in a nice part of town, on the edge of town, in which 10 acres could be purchased for $10,000. The stake president said, “Oh that’s way out of town,” and refused to do it. He wanted something in the center. They asked him what he’d consider. He said he would consider a block– just a block away from the old tabernacle–which had some vacant space and 3 homes. Theron thinks he specified that because he was sure they could not raise the money. To buy that block would require $60,000. They managed to raise $45,000, so then the Hatch brothers, Garn and his brother, whose name I can’t remember, put up $15,000 personally, and thus raised the $60,000.

The Church then gave the title to the tabernacle to the city, and the city has kept it since, but has had difficulty putting it to suitable use. For a year or two they had plays produced there, but they were not a great success. It is being used very rarely now. Of course the city has to pay the cost of upkeep. Theron says that when big affairs were scheduled for the old tabernacle, President Call would schedule some big stake affair the same night so as to keep down the attendance out of spite and to prove that he was right that it could not be put to suitable and profitable use.

Theron says that after two or three years President Call was released. He thinks the Brethren were not particularly happy with his performance, primarily because they came to believe he was giving them a false impression of the support he had. Later–and Theron said he would not wish this on anybody–he was involved in a terrible accident in which his wife was killed and he was seriously injured. He still lives in Heber City. 

[LJA Diary, 15 Sept., 1980]

I have learned of an interesting development with respect to Nauvoo Restoration, Inc. When it was originally set up, the plan was to make it non-Church, non-Mormon, resembling Williamsburg. For that purpose the original advisory board included both non-Mormons and Mormons, and in order to insure historical integrity, it employed and consulted only with top-flight historians, archeologists, and restorationists. This went on for a few years and then when vacancies in the advisory board appeared, an all-Mormon advisory board was created which included some general authorities. These included Elder Mark Petersen and Elder Delbert Stapley.

Originally the corporation was to draw on private funds primarily– the donations of wealthy Mormons and grants from national philanthropic agencies, in addition to the pledged contributions of Dr. LeRoy Kimball. As time went on the Church became less concerned with the historical and artistic integrity and more interested in the proselyting potential which it offered. It came to be, not a historical restoration, but a missionary tool for preaching the gospel to people who visit the site. This appears to have been primarily the objective of Elder Mark Petersen, who used his very considerable influence to downplay any aspect of the restoration which was not “positive” and helpful in the “missionary sale.” For example, he prohibited them from putting up signs about the Masonic Hall and insisted that the sign simply say Cultural Hall. For that purpose also he did not wish any form of cooperation with the RLDS Church, which owned some of the properties and had its own tour guides. While the RLDS tour guides simply provided historical information, Elder Petersen insisted that our own tour guides be missionaries and that they did hard-sell proselyting in connection with the tour. This obviously created ill-will with the RLDS people. 

When Elder Stapley died, his place was taken by Elder Tom Perry. Elder Petersen remained the senior member of the Board.

Recently, with Dr. Kimball, who had been president both of the Nauvoo Mission and of Nauvoo Restoration, Inc., reaching 78, the Missionary Committee decided to release him as president of the mission. At the same time Elder Petersen decided that he should be released also as president of Nauvoo Restoration, Inc. This decision, according to my informant, was made without consultation with President Kimball. Elder Petersen wrote a beautiful letter of release which he submitted to the First Presidency for signature. They signed it as a perfunctory thing, as they sign many letters presented to them, and there was no discussion with them about the matter. Dr. Kimball was very hurt when he received the letter–not because he was being released, but because of the manner in which it was done, simply notifying him by letter without any advance warning or consultation. He had put several hundred thousand dollars of his own money into the project, and for him to be released in this manner deeply injured his feelings. He finally decided, after weeping for a couple of days about it, to go to President Kimball to see if indeed President Kimball approved of this manner of doing things. President Kimball wept with him when Dr. Kimball explained all of this to President Kimball. President Kimball said he was not aware of it and did not approve of it, that he was very disappointed that a letter would be placed for him to sign without preliminary conversation about it.

President Kimball then called a meeting of those involved. This included Elder Petersen, who had written the letter, Elder Perry, Dr. Kimball, President Kimball, and his two counselors, President Tanner and President Romney.  Both of the latter, it turned out, had also signed the letter without knowing the circumstances.

President Kimball said it was not his preference to have Dr. Kimball released as president of Nauvoo Restoration, Inc. He also said he did not approve of this manner of notification and chastened Elder Petersen, who apologized profusely. It became evident that Elder Petersen himself expected to be the president of Nauvoo Restoration, Inc., replacing Dr. Kimball. After the meeting Elder Petersen came up to Dr. Kimball and said, “Dr. Kimball, we love you and wouldn’t do anything in the world to hurt you.” (This reminds me of a similar action of Elder Petersen after the meeting at which he torpedoed The Story of the Latter-day Saints. He said, “Brother Arrington, we want you to know that we love you and wouldn’t do anything to hurt you.”) Apparently then Dr. Kimball is back as president of Nauvoo Restoration, Inc. He is still in full possession of his faculties and, while he is a little slower than ten years ago, he still moves at a pretty fast pace. He is glad he has another year or two to finish up projects he has started with Nauvoo Restoration, Inc. He has asked the Church for additional money, and my informant was not clear as to whether or not he has been promised that money or whether it is still pending. In any case, he will proceed with those things which have been funded.

[LJA Diary, 2 Apr., 1981]

Two or three weeks ago Davis Bitton and I received a personally delivered copy of the Autobiography of Henry Dixon Taylor, printed by Brigham Young University Press, beautifully typed and bound. This was an 8 1/2 x 11 size book of 396 pages. To us the most fascinating portion was a one-page description of the ceremony in which he and his wife received their Second Anointings. The description did not specifically say Second Anointing but simply a special holy ordinance in the temple. This was on page 285. On page 341 he devoted a page to “Ordaining, Setting Apart, and Blessings from General Authorities,” and the last item was “received Second Anointing” on such and such a date corresponding to the date of his participation in the special ceremony in the Holy of Holies of the Salt Lake Temple.

Three or four days after he delivered this book to us, he came by and picked it up and said he needed to make a change and would bring it back after he had made the change. He returned the book last week, and in going through it we have found the only change to be the elimination of his page on receiving the Second Anointing, page 285, and substituting for it is a picture of the Salt Lake Temple. Page 341 had been retyped, and the last entry, on Second Anointings, had been eliminated.

Evidently some authority or authorities had called his attention to the inclusion of the Second Anointing description and had indicated to him that this was to be a purely confidential ceremony and not to be described in publicly distributed literature.

[LJA Diary, 21 Apr., 1981]

David Lawrence McKay came in to the office this morning and Davis Bitton was in on the conversation. He wanted to discuss the preparation of a biography for President David O. McKay. He originally expected to do it himself, but he didn’t have the time and was of such an age that he now realized that he would never get it done. I suggested to him three approaches: (1) Go through BYU as in the case of the J. Reuben Clark Biography, (2) Go through the First Presidency and History Department as with the case of the Tanner Biography, and (3) Do it privately through the Mormon History Trust Fund. He seemed to prefer the latter. I told him if he wished to do it that way that the historians involved would need the following:

1. An advance payment by the family to support the employment of research assistants to go through the papers. He asked how much and I said anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 depending on whether this was the means of paying the author as well as the research assistants.

2. The family would have to get approval from the First Presidency and the History Department for us to have access to the papers and if any papers are still with the family we would need to have access to those.

3. The family would have to agree to the preparation of an “honest” biography–well rounded, relatively intimate showing the warts as well as the positive side of President McKay.

Brother McKay said he would talk this over with the family and get back with us. He asked me if I would be available to do it. I told him that I could direct the research assistant, but I could not begin to read the book until I complete the Brigham Young Biography in July 1982. 

He talked as though all the McKay papers including diaries and scrapbooks are upstairs in the History Department. Claire Middlemiss has copies of the diary–which is really her diary–but the original is upstairs–Brother McKay said he has access to the McKay papers and he might designate us as his agents in having access to them.

We told him about involving Jim Allen in the project. We also mentioned samples of biographies as an example of the sort of thing we would do. We mentioned the Kimball Biography and the Clark Biography. 

[LJA Diary, 18 May, 1981]

Grace and I had a chance to have dinner Wednesday night sitting at a table opposite to Don and Dona Wheeler. I learned that she is a niece of President Marion Romney. I gather that her mother was President Romney’s sister or half-sister. Dona’s maiden name was Clark and she grew up in Oakley. I told her I couldn’t miss the opportunity; I had always wanted to ask about President Romney’s sister who became a Catholic nun. How did that happen? What where the circumstances? She said that this sister’s name was Lurelene.  She had grown up in Mexico, along with President Romney, and then went to Rexburg I believe. She had married and had I think five children. She had married an LDS person whose name Dona did not recall. Then she had been divorced, say when she was in her fifties. Sometime after she became a Roman Catholic and took the vows of a nun. She is known as Mary Catherine. She lives in Holladay along with a few other nuns, perhaps six or seven. They do work on behalf of the poor and the needy. Dona did not know the precise location of the convent, but was sure it was in Holladay. She said she could probably find out more about her and would be glad to let me know. In the meantime, I am sending Dona a copy of my article on the history of Oakley. 

[LJA Diary, 3 Aug., 1981]

I have learned today the true story of the cricket and seagull episode in Mormon history in 1848. It is well known that birds eat seeds–grain seeds, flower seeds, millet seeds, wheat and so on. The seagulls had been over Salt Lake City for perhaps millennia. At any rate they circled over the fields of grain of the Saints, descended and began to eat the maturing grain, as they still do today. The Saints began to despair that the seagulls were eating up all their grain. Fearfully, they worried about their future. Nevertheless, they didn’t want to shoot the seagulls. They many times sung the song, “Don’t Kill the Little Birds.” The crickets realized the position the Saints were in and so decided to be a sacrifice for a good purpose. So the crickets came in and lay down, playing dead, which attracted the seagulls away from the grain. The seagulls ate the crickets instead. Thus it was really, in essence, the crickets that saved the Saints’ grain crop. This suggests that we ought to put up a new monument on Temple Square to the Mormon cricket. 

[LJA Diary, 4 Aug., 1981]

This morning Douglas McKay came to visit me. He is the son of Lewellyn McKay who for 17 years was head of the Department of Modern Languages-at the University of Utah. Lewellyn is the second oldest son of David O. McKay. In order the children were: Lawrence, Lewellyn, Ed, Bob, and Emma who married Conway Ashton. Lewellyn was the shortest.

Lewellyn married Alice Smith who was somewhat notorious in the Church Historians Office for several years because of a Masters Thesis she wrote on Mormon Social Psychology. She was heavily criticized by the family, and her department head in sociology who supported, encouraged, and defended the thesis was fired. Joseph F. wrote a sarcastic comment on the cover of the thesis and signed it–the copy of the Church Archives. Douglas says his mother later regretted writing the thesis because of the problems it caused the family and her thesis director.

Alice Smith was really the grandchild of Coulson Rich son of Charles C. and Harriet Sargent. Coulson Rich proved to be an alcoholic and Alice Kimball therefore divorced him, after she had had two children and married Joseph F. Smith. The children were small and were adopted by Joseph F. and their name changed to Smith. Alice’s father was Heber Colson Rich Kimball. He, of course, knew that he was adopted as did Alice. Douglas was never told by his mother, who is still alive, that he was a Rich (and he looks like one). But when he went to the University of Oregon to get his Masters Degree in comparative literature he spent considerable time with his grandfather Heber C. and his grandfather told him at that time. Douglas says that a year or two ago the Joseph F. Smith family adopted a resolution that those who were not biological members of the family would no longer be considered members of the family association and were therefore not invited to the reunion. This was hard on Alice Smith and some of the others. 

[LJA Diary, 10 Aug., 1981]

I talked with Duane Jefferys on Friday. He said that he had been trying to locate the papers of Sterling Talmage, who had been trained by James E. Talmage to be his heir apparent. No help from John Talmage. Nothing in the James Talmage papers at BYU. Nothing in the Church Archives. Nothing with the family.

Many yeas ago the family gave a pile of papers and notes to the Geology Dept. of the Univ. of Utah. The geology people then invited William Stokes to go through them. Stokes located the Sterling Talmage papers among them, and invited Duane to go through them. Duane and one of his students did so. Among them they found the answer to a puzzle. 

Several years ago Duane was called in about something he had written about the publication of The Earth and Man by James E. Talmage. Seems that Joseph Fielding Smith had published that this was published by violating instruction from the First Presidency, and that in no sense was it published with Church approval or permission. Joseph Fielding had pulled out of the files a letter signed by J. Reuben Clark and his associates in the First Presidency which reviewed events connected with the publication of that paper and saying that it was published specifically without their approval. And yet it was obvious that Talmage would not have published it without their approval. How explain?

Duane got approval from someone (I assume Don Schmidt but not sure) to examine the papers of Heber J. Grant and found that on a certain day there is an entry in his diary which says that he and other members of the First Presidency had met with Elder Talmage, reviewed the paper, and gave explicit approval to its publication. How explain the later letter? It is obviously something Joseph Fielding had gotten J. Reuben Clark to do. He had written the letter and got others to sign it without fully informing them of its nature and importance. Anyway, Duane is about to publish, I think in Dialogue, this matter, so that The Earth and Man is no longer under a cloud. 

[LJA Diary, 15 Nov., 1981]

President Franklin Murdock, who knew J. Golden Kimball well, said that during her late years, Emmeline B. Wells lived in the Hotel Utah. She insisted that she be blessed every day by a member of the First Presidency. This must have been about 1920 or 1921, when she died. The First Presidency didn’t mind blessing her the first time, or the second, or the third, but thought this was going too far to be doing it every day. After they had received another call for them to go over, they saw J. Golden coming in, so President Grant asked him to represent them in going over to give a blessing to Sister Wells. He did so. She had the door of her hotel room slightly ajar, expecting one of the First Presidency. When she saw J. Golden coming, “Aunt ‘Em,” a fiery lady, waved him away. “Go away. I don’t want you to bless me. You’re the last person I want to bless me. Go ‘way.” From that time on, she never again asked the First Presidency to bless her.

A man kept boasting to J. Golden of “the fish that got away” and other exploits. Once he was talking with J. Golden and boasted of having caught a trout that was two feet long. J. Golden said that reminded him of an experience he had had a year earlier. He had been fishing and fussing around that night when he suddenly dropped the lantern in the water. He hunted and hunted and couldn’t find it, so he gave up. Later in the season he happened to be at the same spot and threw out his line, tugged away at something he caught, and came up with the lantern, still lighted. “Oh,” said the man, “you’re putting me on; that couldn’t be.” Replied J. Golden, “You reduce the size of the fish you caught to one foot and I’ll blow out the damn light.” 

[LJA Diary, 27 Jun., 1982]

Lester Bush talked to me on the telephone a couple of days ago. He said that he had become acquainted with a psychiatrist, non-Mormon, who had been invited by the Church some twenty years ago to go to SLC to study why so many returned missionaries, or missionaries, had come down with schizophrenia. He had felt it was because the pressure was on them to do a lot of baptisms and they couldn’t take it. It was during the baseball baptism period of the 1960s. He had come to know President Hugh Brown, who he thought had ordered the study. Admired him very much. He was overseeing the study. Who so many had become homosexuals had been lumped with it. Lester thought it was interesting that the Church had been open to such a study that long ago. The man was also a friend of T. Edgar Lyon, though Lester had not determined in just what capacity the man had become acquainted with him. 

[LJA Diary, 11 Mar., 1984]

The past week was a busy one, but I can’t think of anything important that we’ve accomplished. Sunday evening we went to the Horne Study Group. Listened to the discussion of one section of the D&C by our permanent discussion leader, Roy Doxey. Wednesday we went to the marriage of Robert and Phyllis’s son Richard and Jill Benson in the Salt Lake Temple. Conducted by Homer Ellsworth. Afterward we went to the wedding breakfast, which was at Log Haven, in Mill Creek Canyon. First time I had been there. About a hundred invited guests, mostly Hornes. Some I hadn’t met before.

At the wedding, I noted one thing Dr. Ellsworth said, by way of advice, that I hadn’t heard before. He said, that with respect to the having of children, exercise free agency, but don’t be selfish. Always before those performing the ceremony said it is a divine commandment to be fruitful and multiply. With an implied injunction against contraception. Brother Ellsworth implied that the matter of how many children and how often was a matter between the couple and the Lord and wisdom should always be used. This Dr. Ellsworth, who has been a bishop and regional representative, wrote a brave article for the Ensign several years ago advocating this same doctrine, and it was published! Elder Benson and Petersen and Packer didn’t like it, but others thought it should be said. I’m glad Ellsworth is one of those with sealing power. I see a good Christian influence in the temple since Duff Hanks became president. Harriet also is pleased with the new spirit which is so friendly and tolerant.

[LJA to Children, 17 Aug., 1984]

Leonard J. Arrington

Joseph Fielding Smith Institute

for Church History

302 Knight Mangum Building

Provo, Utah 84602

Dear Leonard:

Your note regarding the recent General Conference and my participation is very much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to write and for your personal reassurance.

Best personal regards,

Ronald E. Poelman

[Ronald E. Poelman to LJA; LJA Diary, 25 Oct., 1984]

Mrs. Newell Daines, Sr., 545 Boulevard, Logan, Utah telephoned me on 7 March 1988 that she had a personal experience that she had never told to anyone. It had historic importance, and all the other participants were dead, and presumably none of them had ever told anyone. She thought she should tell it to someone before she died. She is about 90. And she thinks I am the right one to tell it to. I will know what to do with it, if anything. I told her we were coming up to Logan on Thursday, March 10, and I would come by. We did, and I talked with her in her home for about 45 minutes between 10:30 am and 11:15 am while Harriet remained in the car reading. Here is the story Sister Daines told, which I wrote down in brief hand.

The experience happened to Newell and me in January 1926 when we were in Washington, D.C. We had gone there in the fall of 1924. We had rented an apartment house at 2200 G Street, NW, just two weeks earlier. The apartment house was later torn down and the lot is now part of the State Department Complex in Washington, D.C. We had just had a new baby [presumably Newell, Jr.], so I was no longer earning a salary, as I had done for several months. The new apartment house we moved into was filled with people. They needed a manager, and so we were fortunate to be able to have the income from managing the apartment house. We had been there about two weeks.

About January 15, after 1 pm, a man knocked on the door. Identified himself as being from the FBI (at the time it was the Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice). He had on a blue suit, red tie, and carried a briefcase. He wanted to talk, to explain to me something. I sat him down at a desk, and me on the other side of the desk. “Are you alone?” he asked. “You have a couple of ladies on the third floor.” There were twenty-one rooms in the apartment, three floors. The two women were very respectable women from Missouri. They lived in Room 304. The FBI man went on, “We’ve been here several times before. We come through the back way and go up the stairs. We have made impressions of the lock and have a key to the room. The younger woman is the daughter of the older. The younger woman works for the Department of Interior on Missouri patronage. We have been following her for two years. She has been living out of wedlock with the tall, good-looking man with the goatee, from Idaho, who comes to visit her.”

Sister Daines said she had decided not to reveal the name of the man or the town he came from because he left a large family and there are many living descendants. But the man was a Mormon. He was a civil engineer in the Department of the Interior. She’d seen the man’s father in Church several times. There were only seventy people in the Washington, D.C. branch in 1926. Just enough that they had outgrown Smoot’s living room. Sis. Daines went on:

The FBI man said they had been on the man’s trail for two years. Not that they were after him especially, but after Senator Smoot. This man was a close friend of Senator Smoot and had received top patronage from him. Smoot was powerful in the Senate, head of the Senate Finance Committee, of Foreign Relations Committee, a key senator. “We are after him, and this man is a close friend. We’ve been on Senator Smoot’s trail for twenty years, trying to find something on him, and we’ve got it now. Senator Smoot told the Senate during his trial that the Mormons had given up polygamy, and he has continued to emphasize it. We have tapped his wires for twenty years. Now we know that a close friend of his is a polygamist.”

Sister Daines said the ladies referred to had moved into the apartment two or three days after the Daines had taken over the management of it. The FBI man said they were moving in tonight because the man with the goatee might move tomorrow. “He travels a lot, to many parts of the country, but he gets back to Washington on Thursday. The mother of the young woman moves out, and goes somewhere, we don’t know where, somewhere in the southeast part of Washington. We have reserved the front page of the Washington Post for tomorrow morning. They will carry a photo of the man in his nightshirt, next to a photo of Senator Smoot, his friend and patron. The article will not give the name of the woman, or the address of the apartment, or the name of the apartment. We will not embarrass the apartment building in an way.”

The FBI man went on, “We want you to stay out of this. We’re coming in quietly at 11 pm. We’ll take the man in his nightshirt and put him in jail.”

Sister Daines said she did not respond to him, just remained silent. He continued, “You go out for the evening, and it will be all over when you get back. Tomorrow, when it hits the front page of the Post we’ll have Smoot right where we want him. We can prove that polygamy exists; it is just underground, and Smoot knows it.” I told him, “Yes, we’ll go to the show this evening, just as you wish.”

When I saw Newell crossing the street . . . he was working at the Shipping Board . . . I telephoned and told Newell to come home quickly. The secretary saw him crossing the street and got word to him immediately and he phoned me, and I simply said, “Come home quick.” He did.

When I told him the story, he said we must go to Senator Smoot. But that was not necessarily an easy thing to do. We got in touch with Matt Cowley [later an apostle of the Church] who was the Senator’s executive secretary. Newell got up to Smoot’s office shortly on a streetcar. We didn’t have a car at the time. Matt Cowley was at the desk. Newell said, “I’ve got to see Senator Smoot right now.” “He’s in dictating and I shouldn’t disturb him.” “You have to; I’ve got to see him right now.” Matt replies, “I believe you.” So he went into Smoot’s private office.

When Newell told Senator Smoot, the senator went gray. Smoot had a temper. He exploded, “That cur, that snake in the grass, I tried to help him. He got his job on my patronage. He was from Idaho, had a wife and eight children, who are still in Idaho because they didn’t want to take the children out of school to come here. He said they were better off there, and his wife agreed.” Senator Smoot wept. Then he burst out in anger. He had a temper when aroused. He started swearing. He could, you know. He said, “We’ll have him out of town on the 4 o’clock Flyer.” That was a fast train for VIPs which headed west out of Washington. “He’ll be on it. Matt, go over to the Interior Department and find the man. Tell him to grab his hat and briefcase and get him to my office.”

Newell sits and listens to Smoot while they both wait for Matt’s return. At first Smoot wept like a baby. Then he quietly acknowledged to Newell: “I’ve known all along that my wires were tapped and my telephones monitored, and I have been followed regularly.” J. Edgar Hoover had been director of the FBI since 1924, and he had to be directing this hounding of Smoot. Smoot went on, “The only thing I could do is keep this thing as clean as a hound’s tooth. I’ll get him out and another crisis will be averted.”

Newell, as he was telling me of this experience with Smoot, said, “You know, this is faith promoting; that we happen to be here in the apartment at this moment. Senator Smoot told me, “The Lord planted you there.”

Newell and Smoot had about twenty minutes together. Newell stayed until Matt came in with the man. Senator Smoot then asked, “Is this the man?” Newell said, “Yes.” Newell, of course, had seen the man several times when he came in to pay what he called a “fellowship visit” with the woman. Newell then left at that point.

Matthew Cowley later told Newell what happened later. He said, “When you shut the door, Senator Smoot made a dive for the guy. He would have pulled that goatee out by the roots. I had to come between them to separate them.” “You are a cur,” Senator Smoot said. “You had eight children to support, and I tried to help you. I gave you a good job on my patronage, and you have done this to me. You sit here until the 4 o’clock Flyer and you leave forever. Go to your wife, tell her anything you want. Your salary ends today.”

The Senator went on, according to Cowley, “You phone right now and tell the woman to get out of town immediately and never come back. Get out of the apartment and never show up there again.” It was about 2 pm, so this was in good time. Matt told Newell that he (Matt) put the man on the train for the west by 4 pm. Matt bought his ticket to insure he was headed for the right place. We have not seen him since.

Newell and I went out that evening, as I had promised. The FBI came to the apartment and found an empty room. There was nothing in the Post the next morning. The FBI didn’t come back to ask us why the people left. They did not previously know us or investigate us, and obviously did not know we were Mormons. How could they suspect it, since there were only seventy people in all Washington who admitted they were Mormons? When they found the apartment empty, the agent knew he had slipped by talking too much, and by not checking us out.

Newell commented, “The Lord moves in mysterious ways. He planted us here.

If the agent tells anybody about how he blabbed about what they’d done to Senator Smoot, he’d be fired. J. Edgar Hoover would be embarrassed. The agent will choose to forget the whole thing and just report that the guy left, just as he had done so many times before. The agent will keep his job by shutting his mouth. The whole thing will blow over. The FBI will say the man gave us the slip again. The FBI will be scared to death if they were to be told that their agent had blabbed about shadowing Senator Smoot illegally for these twenty years. Nothing will ever be mentioned.”

And this is precisely what happened. We went to the show; nothing was ever mentioned about the apartment house. We continued to remain there as managers. It was a good deal for us, a nice way of saving money and making an income.

We remained in Washington until the fall of 1928. Newell got his law degree, an LLB. He did more class work and got a Master’s, the equivalent of a Doctor of Jurisprudence today.

Newell had a good job on Idaho patronage. He was from Preston, Idaho, but went to the University of Utah Law School because it was closer to home. He went there only one year and we ran out of money. He went to Senator Smoot and asked about a patronage job. Smoot said he had no patronage left. Since Newell was from Preston, he should try to get patronage from Senator Borah or Congressman Addison T. Smith. Borah being busy, he went to Congressman Smith. Smoot told him how to get his degree. Go to night school to take law classes and keep a job in the daytime with a Federal agency.

When we went to Washington, I got a job as a stenographer in the War Department. We had two small children–Beulah [I thought she said] and Newell, Jr. We arrived in Washington on October 6, 1924 and I started to work the next day. It was a good job, and I kept it until Newell, Jr. was born. My job was on civil service, and it was on the best patronage Idaho could give me. Newell was given a job in the Shipping Board at $125 per month. So we got along fine until I had to quit because of our new baby. That’s why we decided to take the job as apartment managers.

This was the story of Sister Daines. Her mind was very sharp. She told me that she had been writing her history and this had prompted her phone call to me. She said she had written the full story at the time in her diary, but she felt the need to tell a historian so it would not remain unknown. No doubt she had read over the contemporary account before talking with me, and that probably explains how she was so sharp in her memory of everything. 

[A Story about Senator Reed Smoot, Mrs. Newell Daines; LJA Diary, 10 Mar., 1988]